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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1997 Sep;96(3):199-205.

Religiosity as a protective or prognostic factor of depression in later life; results from a community survey in The Netherlands.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


This study examines the impact of religiosity on the incidence and course of depressive syndromes in a community-based sample of elderly people in The Netherlands (n = 177). The course of depression was assessed in five waves of measurements, covering a period of 1 year. Religiosity was defined as salience of religion compared to the salience of other aspects of life. Religious salience was not associated with incidence of depression, but showed a relatively strong association with improvement of depression among the respondents who were depressed at the first measurement. This association was most prominent among subjects with poor physical health.

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