The Religious Needs and Resources of Psychiatric Inpatients

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Abstract

A recent survey of psychiatric research indicates religion has been given little attention, and when it has been considered, the measures have been simplistic. The present study was designed to describe the religious needs and resources of psychiatric in-patients. With the use of a multidimensional conception of religion and two established instruments, 51 adult psychiatric inpatients were surveyed about their religious needs and resources. For comparison, 50 general medical/surgical patients, matched for age and gender, were also surveyed. Eight-eight percent of the psychiatric patients reported three or more current religious needs. Although there were no differences in religious needs between the two patient groups, there were significant differences in religious resources. Psychiatric patients had lower spiritual well-being scores and were less likely to have talked with their clergy. Religion is important for the psychiatric patients, but they may need assistance to find resources to address their religious needs.

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