Religiositeit en depressie bij ouderen: Een overzicht van recent empirisch onderzoek

Translated title of the contribution: Religiosity and depression in later life: A review of recent epidemiological research

A. W. Braam*, A. T.F. Beekman, W. Van Tilburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: In psychiatric epidemiology and gerontology it is frequently reported that religious beliefs and the practice of religion protect the elderly from depression. AIM: To investigate whether certain aspects of religious belief and practice of religiosity are associated with depression and whether explanatory factors such as coping mechanisms can be identified. METHOD: A Medline literature search was performed for the period 1997-2002, using as key words religion/religious/religiosity/spirituality, in combination with aging/elderly/old/late-life and depressive/depression/mental-health. RESULTS: In cross-sectional studies church-attendance is consistently associated with lower levels of depression. On the other hand, religiosity in the form of negative religious emotions (e.g. anger) and negative religious coping strategies (e.g. expectation of punishment) is associated with higher levels of depression. Persons to whom religion is important in everyday life are more likely to recover from depression. So far, there is little empirical support for explanatory or mediating factors. CONCLUSION: Religiosity can incorporate risk-factors, but more often than not belief in it generates a potential for hope or a propensity for adaptation in later life.

Translated title of the contributionReligiosity and depression in later life: A review of recent epidemiological research
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)495-505
Number of pages11
JournalTijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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