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J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2014 Jun;21(5):403-13. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12092. Epub 2013 May 23.

Nursing home care: exploring the role of religiousness in the mental health, quality of life and stress of formal caregivers.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora; Department of Research, São Paulo Medical Spiritist Association, São Paulo, São Paulo; Department of Research, Hospital João Evangelista, São Paulo, São Paulo.

Abstract

Despite the high number of studies on family caregivers, there is little research on the impact of religiosity on formal caregiving (paid providers). We examine the role of religiousness in the mental health, quality of life and stress of nurse aides (NA) who provide care for patients in a nursing home. NA in a Brazilian nursing home were invited to participate. Because of its coping function, we hypothesized that religiousness was related to better mental health and quality of life. Linear regression was used to test this hypothesis and control for confounders. Compared with the Brazilian general population, NA scored higher on measures of religious involvement. Intrinsic religiosity was associated with better mental health and quality of life. Organizational religiosity was associated with better social functioning, better general mental health and fewer anxiety symptoms. Non-organizational religiosity (prayer), however, was associated with negative outcomes, such as higher stress, poorer general health perceptions and more anxiety symptoms. Most NA indicated that they had prayed for and with their patients. In conclusion, paid caregivers (NA) have a strong sense of religiousness, which plays an important role in many ways, including the type of care they provide, their mental health and their quality of life.

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

KEYWORDS:

caregivers; depression; mental health; religion and medicine; spirituality

PMID:
23701527
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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