Location of Repository

Spiritual belief, social support, physical functioning and depression among older people in Bulgaria and Romania

By Peter G. Coleman, Roxana O. Carare, Ignat Petrov, Elizabeth Forbes, Anita Saigal, John H. Spreadbury, Andrea Yap and Tony Kendrick

Abstract

Objectives: An exploratory investigation is reported into the role of spirituality and religious practice in protecting against depression among older people living in rural villages in Bulgaria and Romania, two neighbouring countries with similar cultural, political and religious histories, but with differing levels of current religiosity. Methods: In both countries, interviews were conducted with samples of 160 persons of 60 years and over in villages of similar socio-economic status. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression-D scale and the Royal Free Interview for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs were used to assess depression and spiritual belief and practice respectively. In addition social support, physical functioning and the presence of chronic diseases were assessed. One year later, follow-up interviews were conducted with 58 of the original sample in Bulgaria, in which additional measures of depression and of spiritual belief and practice were also included. Results: The study demonstrates, as expected, significantly lower levels of spiritual belief in the Bulgarian sample (Bulgarian mean 29.7 (SD = 19.1), Romanian mean 47.6 (SD = 11.2), t = 10.2, p < 0.001), as well as significantly higher levels of depression (Bulgarian mean 12.0 (SD = 4.9), Romanian mean 7.3 (SD = 4.1), t = 9.3, p < 0.001), the latter attributable in large part to higher morbidity and disability rates, but less evidently to differences in strength of belief. However, analyses from both the cross-sectional study and the one-year follow-up of the Bulgarian sample do suggest that spiritual belief and practice may both influence and reflect physical and mental illness. Conclusions: Much of Eastern Europe displays high rates of depression among its older population and provides opportunities for investigation of the role of religious belief and practice in preventing and coping with depression. Further research is encouraged in populations of diverse religiosity

Topics: R1, RC0321
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:181827
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (2006). Adaptive resources in later life: Tenacious goal pursuit and flexible goal adjustment. In doi
  2. (2004). Bulgaria mental health country profile. doi
  3. (2005). Depression. In doi
  4. (2005). Does religiousness buffer against the fear of death and dying in late adulthood? doi
  5. (2003). Epidemiology of women and depression. doi
  6. (1996). Feelings and attitudes toward the changes during social and economic transition. A study on autonomous elderly subjects in Sofia.
  7. (1996). Feelings and attitudes toward the changes during social and economic transition. Part II. Evolution of the feelings and attitudes. Comparison with personality, health and social variables.
  8. (2002). Gender and depression: explaining the different rates of depression between men and women.
  9. (1986). Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Recent evidence and development of a shorter version. doi
  10. (2004). Geriatrics in Eastern Europe – a perspective from Bulgaria.
  11. (2001). Health behaviour, risk awareness and emotional well-being in students from doi
  12. (1997). Impairment, disability and handicap as risk factors for depression in old age. The Gospel Oak Project V. doi
  13. (2007). In sure and uncertain faith: belief and coping with loss of spouse in later life. doi
  14. (2005). Measuring spiritual belief: development and standardization of a Beliefs and Values Scale. doi
  15. (1999). Multidimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research. A report of a national working group supported by the Fetzer Institute
  16. (2002). Negative life events and depression in elderly persons: a meta-analysis. doi
  17. (1995). of 31 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/camh Aging and Mental Health 60For Peer Review Only
  18. (2007). Patterns of formal and informal social capital in Europe. doi
  19. (1996). Patterns of rural mental health care: an exploratory study. General Hospital Psychiatry, 18, 14-21. Page 24 of 31 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/camh Aging and Mental Health 60For Peer Review Only
  20. (2005). Physical health and depressive symptoms in older Europeans. Results from EURODEP. doi
  21. (2005). Relationships of religiosity and spirituality with mental health and psychopathology.
  22. (2010). Religion and age. In doi
  23. (2005). Religion and national identity in post-communist Romania. doi
  24. (2001). Religion as a cross-cultural determinant of depression in elderly Europeans. Results from the EURODEP collaboration. doi
  25. (2002). Religion in Bulgaria after 1989: historical and socio-cultural aspects.
  26. (2004). Religious involvement and a 6-years course of depressive symptoms in older Dutch citizens. doi
  27. (2003). Religiousness and depression: evidence for a main effect and the moderating influence of stressful life events. doi
  28. (2005). Size and burden of depressive disorders in Europe. doi
  29. (1997). Social support deficits, loneliness and life events as risk factor for depression in old age. The Gospel Oak Project VI. doi
  30. (2005). Social values, science and technology. Report 225. Brussels: European Commission.
  31. (2008). Socioeconomic status over the life-course and depressive symptoms in men and women in Eastern Europe. doi
  32. (2004). Spirituality and well-being in frail and non-frail older adults. doi
  33. (2007). The devil is in the detail: partnership between psychiatry and faith-based organisations. doi
  34. (1992). The MOS [Medical Outcomes Study] 36-item short- form health survey (SF- 36): I. Conceptual framework and item selection. doi
  35. (2001). The Royal Free Interview for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs: development and standardization. doi
  36. (2008). Vascular disease and future risk of depressive symptomatology in older adult: Findings from the Healthy Aging, and Body Composition study. doi
  37. (2010). World Population Ageing doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.