Religiousness associated with lower depression scores with inpatient geriatric depression

January 01, 0001

Religiousness associated with lower depression scores with inpatient geriatric depression

The aim of this study was to determine whether religiousness, in particular intrinsic religiosity, influences the prognosis of elderly inpatients with major depression, and, if so, whether this effect is related to social support. A total of 94 patients (71% women; mean age = 76) with DSM-IV major depression were assessed on admission to a psychogeriatric unit in Melbourne, Australia, and then reviewed at 6, 12 and 24 months. Depression was measured using the Geriatric Depression Rating Scale - short form, religiousness, using the five-item Duke University Religion Index, and social support using the Social Support Questionnaire.

Just over one-third of the sample was highly intrinsically religious. High intrinsic religiosity on admission predicted lower depression scores at 24 months (significant). Intrinsic religiosity's effect was independent of social support as well as other demographic, treatment and health variables.

The researchers concluded: "Intrinsic religiosity (i.e. a person's commitment to and motivation by religious beliefs) predicts lower depression scores over time among inpatients with geriatric depression. Psychogeriatricians should consider a patient's religious history in order to make informed judgements about depression prognosis."

This is an association, not causation.

For the full abstract, click here.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 44(6):560-567, June 2010
© Informa Pic
Religiousness and recovery from inpatient geriatric depression: Findings from the PEJAMA Study. Vahid Payman and Bridget Ryburn. Correspondence to Vahid Payman:

Category: P. Psychological. Keywords: religiousness, recovery, inpatient, geriatric, depression, questionnaire, prospective cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 11 June 2010

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