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Title: Religion, health beliefs and the use of mental health services by the elderly
Authors: Ng, T.P.
Nyunt, M.S.Z. 
Chiam, P.C.
Kua, E.H.
Keywords: attitudes
epidemiology (mental health)
Issue Date: Mar-2011
Source: Ng, T.P., Nyunt, M.S.Z., Chiam, P.C., Kua, E.H. (2011-03). Religion, health beliefs and the use of mental health services by the elderly. Aging and Mental Health 15 (2) : 143-149. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Few studies have investigated whether elderly people of particular religious affiliations were more or less likely to seek treatment for mental illness, and whether it was related to their health beliefs. Method: In the National Mental Survey of Elderly Singaporeans in 2004, data were collected on reported religious affiliations, and 1-year prevalence of mental disorders (DSM-IV diagnoses of psychiatric disorders) from diagnostic interviews using the Geriatric Mental State schedule, self-report of treatment for mental health problems, and health beliefs about the curability of mental illness, embarrassment and stigma, ease in discussing mental problems, effectiveness and safety of treatment, and trust in professionals. Results: Compared to those with no religious affiliation, elderly people of all religious affiliations showed higher prevalence of mental health problems, yet reported less frequent treatment by healthcare professionals. In multivariate analyses, the adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of association with seeking treatment were for Christianity, 0.12 (0.02-0.57); Islam, 0.12 (0.01-1.31); Buddhism/Taoism, 0.59 (0.18-1.88); and Hinduism, 0.21 (0.02-2.56) versus no affiliation. Various religious affiliations differ from each other and from non-religious affiliation on some negative health beliefs, but they did not adequately explain why religious affiliates were less likely to seek treatment. Conclusion: Further studies should evaluate the lower tendency of elderly people with religious affiliations to seek treatment for mental health problems. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Source Title: Aging and Mental Health
ISSN: 13607863
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2010.508771
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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