Earlier research suggested that persons in a community with significant psychiatric disorders seek relief from their clergy as often as from trained mental-health professionals. In this research, contacts with clergy about current hospitalization by matched samples of inpatient psychiatric (N = 51) and medical/surgical (N = 50) patients were compared, as were responses to structured interviews about the importance of religion, religious affiliation, and participation, spiritual needs, and spiritual well-being. The findings suggest that the two groups were similar in demographics, the degree to which religion was a source of strength and comfort in their lives, and percentages reporting as having a clergy person; the group of hospitalized psychiatric patients was significantly less likely, however, than the sample of medical/surgical patients to have discussed their current hospitalization with their clergy persons. Possible causes for this difference as well as areas of further research are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies