Few quantitative studies have examined the effect of religious involvement on the course of bipolar disorder (BD). We investigated the effects of religious activity and coping behaviors on the course of depression, mania, and quality of life (QoL) in patients with BD.
Two-year longitudinal study of 168 outpatients with BD. Linear regression was used to examine associations between religious predictors and outcome variables (manic symptoms, depression, QoL), controlling for sociodemographic variables.
Among the 158 patients reassessed after 2 years, positive religious coping at T1 predicted better QoL across all four domains: physical (β = 10.2, 95%CI 4.2 to 16.1), mental (β = 13.4, 95%CI 7.1 to 19.7), social (β = 10.5, 95%CI 3.6 to 17.33), and environmental (β =11.1, 95%Cl 6.2 to 16.1) at T2. Negative religious coping at T1 predicted worse mental (β = -28.1, 95%CI -52.06 to -4.2) and environmental (β = -20.4, 95%CI -39.3 to -1.6) QoL. Intrinsic religiosity at T1 predicted better environmental QoL (β = 9.56, 95%CI 2.76 to 16.36) at T2. Negative religious coping at T1 predicted manic symptoms (β = 4.1) at T2.
Religiosity/spirituality (R/S) may influence the QoL of patients with BD over time, even among euthymic patients. Targeting R/S (especially positive and negative religious coping) in psychosocial interventions may enhance the quality of recovery in patients with BD.
Keywords: Bipolar disorder; religion; spirituality; quality of life; mania