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Article

Religious Hallucinations and Religious Delusions among Older Adults in Treatment for Psychoses in the Netherlands

1
Independent Practice for Psychiatry, Centre for Geriatric Psychiatry, 3502 MA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Department of Psychiatry, Vrije University Medical Centre (VUmc), 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Department of Emergency Psychiatry and Department of Residency Training, Altrecht Mental Health Care, 3512 PG Utrecht, The Netherlands
4
Department of Humanist Chaplaincy Studies for a Plural Society, University of Humanistic Studies, 3512 HD Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 6 October 2020 / Published: 12 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious and Spiritual Experiences)
Background. Although religious delusions (RDs) are common in geriatric psychiatry, we know little about their frequency and content. Our study examines the prevalence and content of religious hallucinations (RHs) and RDs and how they relate to the diagnosis and the patients’ denominational background and other aspects of religiousness. Methods. Semi-structured diagnostic interviews were conducted with inpatients and outpatients (N = 155, mean age 76.5) at a geriatric psychiatry department in the Netherlands. We used the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry 2.1. Results. The prevalences of RHs and RDs were 19% and 32%, respectively. RHs were mostly auditory. There was no statistically significant difference between the prevalence of RHs in schizophrenia (17.5%) and in psychotic depression (9.4%). Compared to non-affiliated patients and mainline Protestants, RDs were significantly more prevalent in raised and current strict Protestants, especially in those with psychotic depression. RHs were more prevalent in Evangelical (e.g., Pentecostal) and strict Protestant patients. The presence of RDs was associated with several measures of religiousness (e.g., dogmatism, religious coping). Conclusions. Religion is likely to act as a symptom-formation factor for psychotic symptoms in strict Protestant older adults. More detailed research might lead to a fuller understanding of how strict religious beliefs may affect the content of psychotic symptoms and unintentionally add a component of existential suffering. It is important for mental health professionals, especially the predominantly secular professionals in the Netherlands, to recognize and address religious themes. View Full-Text
Keywords: religious hallucination; religious delusion; psychosis; schizophrenia; psychotic depression; old age; older adults; religiousness; religious coping religious hallucination; religious delusion; psychosis; schizophrenia; psychotic depression; old age; older adults; religiousness; religious coping
MDPI and ACS Style

Noort, A.; Beekman, A.T.F.; Braam, A.W. Religious Hallucinations and Religious Delusions among Older Adults in Treatment for Psychoses in the Netherlands. Religions 2020, 11, 522. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11100522

AMA Style

Noort A, Beekman ATF, Braam AW. Religious Hallucinations and Religious Delusions among Older Adults in Treatment for Psychoses in the Netherlands. Religions. 2020; 11(10):522. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11100522

Chicago/Turabian Style

Noort, Annemarie, Aartjan T.F. Beekman, and Arjan W. Braam 2020. "Religious Hallucinations and Religious Delusions among Older Adults in Treatment for Psychoses in the Netherlands" Religions 11, no. 10: 522. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11100522

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