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Religion and spiritual advice as surrogate care provision for mental health problems in the ESEMED survey

Abstract : Objective To complete missing information on the influence of spiritual and religious advisors as informal providers for mental health problems in Europe. Methods Recourse to religious practice or belief when coping with mental health problems was evaluated using data from the ESEMED survey. This was a stratified, multistage, clustered-area probability sample survey of mental health carried out in six European countries which included 8796 subjects. Between countries differences in sociodemographic characteristics, religious affiliation, and prevalence of mental disorders and management of mental disorders were evaluated. Results Religion appears to play a limited role in coping with mental health problems in Europe. Only 7.9% of individuals seeking help for such problems turned to a religious advisor. This proportion differed between countries from 13% in Italy, 12.5% in Germany, 10.5% in the Netherlands, 5.8% in France, 4.7% in Belgium to 4% in Spain. In addition, seeking help exclusively from religion was reported by only 1.3% of subjects. Practicing religion at least once a week and considering religion as important in daily life were predictors of using religion versus conventional health care only. Use of religion was not influenced by gender and age. Non-Christian respondents and individuals with alcohol disorders were more likely to use religion. In Spain, the use of religion is much lower than average. Conclusions Unlike the situation in the United States, organised religion does not provide alternative informal mental health care in Europe. At best, it could be considered as an adjunct to conventional care.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03477230
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Submitted on : Monday, December 13, 2021 - 1:22:48 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 1:35:54 PM

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V Kovess, R de Graaf, Jm Haro, R Bruffaerts, F Gilbert, et al.. Religion and spiritual advice as surrogate care provision for mental health problems in the ESEMED survey. European Psychiatry, Cambridge University press, 2009, 24 (Suppl. 1), pp.S166. ⟨10.1016/S0924-9338(09)70399-2⟩. ⟨hal-03477230⟩

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