Next Article in Journal
Rebirth According to the Bhagavad gītā; Epistemology, Ontology and Ethics
Next Article in Special Issue
Association between Health Behaviours and Religion in Austrian High School Pupils—A Cross-Sectional Survey
Previous Article in Journal
From the Sacred Sound of the Conch Shell to the Cemetery Dance: Reimagining an Africana Festival Created in a Southern Appalachian City
Previous Article in Special Issue
Moving Forward in Their Journey: Participants’ Experience of Taste & See, A Church-Based Programme to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food
Article Menu
Issue 8 (August) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Religions 2017, 8(8), 150;

Religious Beliefs and Their Relevance for Treatment Adherence in Mental Illness: A Review

Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk 80-211, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrating Religion and Spirituality into Clinical Practice)
Full-Text   |   PDF [642 KB, uploaded 15 August 2017]   |  


Approximately 50% of patients do not adhere to medical therapy. Religious and spiritual factors may play an important role in determining medication compliance in mental illness. The aim of this paper is to review published evidence documenting a relationship between religion/spirituality (R/S) and treatment adherence in mental illness, in particular in schizophrenia, depression and substance abuse. This review summarizes, categorizes and defines the role of religious beliefs as a factor improving medication compliance in mental illness. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies were eligible for the review if they were published in December 2015 or earlier, analyzed the effects of religious beliefs or spirituality on medication compliance, or adherence to other therapeutic interventions in mental illness. The vast majority of published studies analyzed the effects of religion on medication compliance in schizophrenia and addiction. In schizophrenia patients, religious beliefs turned out to be a predictor of worse treatment adherence. However, spiritual orientation was shown to play an important role in the recovery from addiction, and to improve adherence in patients with this condition. Furthermore, better treatment adherence was observed in more religious patients diagnosed with depression. While religious beliefs and spirituality may represent an important source of hope and meaning, they often interfere with treatment adherence. Therefore, psychiatrists should consider religious and spiritual beliefs of their patients, and verify if and to what extent they improve their medication compliance. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; treatment adherence; mental illness religion; treatment adherence; mental illness

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zagożdżon, P.; Wrotkowska, M. Religious Beliefs and Their Relevance for Treatment Adherence in Mental Illness: A Review. Religions 2017, 8, 150.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top