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Medicina (Kaunas). 2008;44(7):529-35.

Are religious delusions related to religiosity in schizophrenia?

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Vilnius Mental Health Center, Vilnius, Lithuania.


This article attempts to explore the phenomenology of religious delusions in patients suffering from schizophrenia and to determine parallels between personal religiosity and content of religious delusions. We have studied the content of delusions in patients with schizophrenia looking for religious themes using Fragebogen fur psychotische Symptome (FPS)--a semi-structured questionnaire developed by the Cultural Psychiatry International research group in Vienna. A total of 295 patients suffering from schizophrenia participated in this study at Vilnius Mental Health Center in Lithuania, among whom 63.3% reported religious delusions. The most frequent content of religious delusion in women was their belief that they were saints and in men--that they imagined themselves as God. Univariate multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that four factors such as marital status, birthplace, education, and subjective importance of religion were significantly related to the presence of religious delusions. However, multivariate analyses revealed that marital status (divorced/separated vs. married OR (odds ratio)=2.0; 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.5) and education (postsecondary education vs. no postsecondary education OR=2.3; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9), but not personal religiosity, were independent predictors of the religious delusions. We conclude that the religious content of delusions is not influenced by personal religiosity; it is rather related to marital status and education of schizophrenic patients.

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