Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Study: Belief in God May Significantly Improve Mental Health Outcomes

I am currently on an Adult Psychiatric rotation and I stumbled upon this study from the Journal of Affective Disorders and thought it was worth sharing:
From Psych Central. (H/T Rob P.)
A new study suggests belief in God may significantly improve the outcome of those receiving short-term treatment for psychiatric illness.
Researchers followed patients receiving care from a hospital-based behavioral health program to investigate the relationship between patients’ level of belief in God, expectations for treatment and actual treatment outcomes.
In the study, published in the current issue of Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers comment that people with a moderate to high level of belief in a higher power do significantly better in short-term psychiatric treatment than those without.
“Belief was associated with not only improved psychological well-being, but decreases in depression and intention to self-harm,” says David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
The study looked at 159 patients, recruited over a one-year period. Each participant was asked to gauge their belief in God as well as their expectations for treatment outcome and emotion regulation, each on a five-point scale.
Levels of depression, well-being, and self-harm were assessed at the beginning and end of their treatment program.
Obviously, the issue of God’s existence is a matter to be decided based on what is true and false, but this kind of study is at least interesting to note.