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Open AccessArticle

Reliance on God’s Help in Patients with Depressive and Addictive Disorders is not Associated with Their Depressive Symptoms

Center of Integrative Medicine, University Witten/Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, D-58313 Herdecke, Germany
Oberberg Clinics Berlin/Brandenburg, 15864 Wendisch Rietz, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2012, 3(2), 455-466;
Received: 28 March 2012 / Revised: 26 April 2012 / Accepted: 16 May 2012 / Published: 4 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Health)
Objective: Although there are several reports which support a (negative) association between depression and spirituality/religiosity, the specific nature of the relationships remains unclear. To address whether patients with depressive and/or addictive disorders use this resource at all, we focused on a circumscribed variable of intrinsic religiosity, and analyzed putative associations between intrinsic religiosity, depression, life satisfaction and internal adaptive coping strategies. Methods: We referred to data of 111 patients with either depressive and/or addictive disorders treated in three German clinics. For this anonym cross sectional study, standardized instruments were used, i.e., the 5-item scale Reliance on God’s Help (RGH), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), the 3-item scale Escape from Illness, the Brief Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale (BMLSS), and internal adaptive coping strategies as measured with the AKU questionnaire. Results: Patients with addictive disorders had significantly higher RGH than patients with depressive disorders (F = 3.6; p = 0.03). Correlation analyses revealed that RGH was not significantly associated with the BDI scores, instead depressive symptoms were significantly associated with life satisfaction and internal adaptive coping strategies (i.e., Reappraisal: Illness as Chance and Conscious Living). Patients with either low or high RGH did not significantly differ with respect to their BDI scores. None of the underlying dimensions of RGH were associated with depression scores, but with life satisfaction and (negatively) with Escape from illness. Nevertheless, patients with high RGH had significantly higher adaptive coping strategies. Regression analyses revealed that Reappraisal as a cognitive coping strategy to re-define the value of illness and to use it as a chance of development (i.e., change attitudes and behavior), was the best predictor of patients’ RGH (Beta = 0.36, p = 0.001), while neither depression as underlying disease (as compared to addictive disorders) nor patients’ life satisfaction had a significant influence on their RGH. Conclusions: Although RGH was significantly higher in patients with addictive disorders than in patients with depressive disorders, depressive symptoms are not significantly associated with patients’ intrinsic religiosity. Particularly those patients with high intrinsic religiosity seem to have stronger access to positive (internal) strategies to cope, and higher life satisfaction. Whether spirituality/religiosity is used by the patients as a reliable resource may depend on their individual experience during live, their expectations, and specific world-view. View Full-Text
Keywords: spirituality; religiosity; depression; addiction; patients; coping strategy; life satisfaction spirituality; religiosity; depression; addiction; patients; coping strategy; life satisfaction
MDPI and ACS Style

Büssing, A.; Mundle, G. Reliance on God’s Help in Patients with Depressive and Addictive Disorders is not Associated with Their Depressive Symptoms. Religions 2012, 3, 455-466.

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