Friday, October 12, 2007

Religion, schizophrenia and adherence to treatment

Despite overwhelming evidence for its effectiveness many people with schizophrenia do not continue to take their medication. Medication non-adherence among patients with schizophrenia ranges from 50%-60% in the first year after being discharged from hospital. There is a growing amount of literature suggesting that religion and spirituality may help people cope better with schizophrenia but there has been no research into how they affect people's adherence to medication. A study of 103 people with schizophrenia in Geneva has found that two thirds of them considered spirituality to be very important or even essential in everyday life. 57% of patients had ideas about their illness directly influenced by their spiritual beliefs (31% positive and 26% negative). However, 31% of non-adherent patients and 27% of partially-adherent patients saw an incompatibility or contradiction between their religion and taking medication, compared to only 8% of the adherent patients.

Borras, L. ... [et al] - Religious beliefs in schizophrenia : their relevance for adherence to treatment Schizophrenia Bulletin September 2007 33(5), 1238-1246

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