alexa Experiences of religious healing in psychiatric patients in south India.
Clinical Research

Clinical Research

Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

Author(s): Campion J, Bhugra D

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A survey was carried out over a 3-month period to determine experiences of religious healing in a group of 198 consecutive psychiatric patients attending a hospital in Tamil Nadu, South India. Of these, 89 (45%) had sought between 1 and 15 sessions from either Hindu, Muslim of Christian healers. The number of patients visiting healers was linked significantly with their income, while a significantly higher number under the age of 17 years had received such help compared with older age groups. A significantly higher consultation rate was observed in those patients with schizophrenia and delusional disorders when compared with other mental illness. An average of 30% of patients claimed some benefit from healer consultation, although the majority (91%) had discontinued such treatment at the time of the hospital attendance. The role of social support, methods of traditional healing and the underlying implications for service delivery are discussed. The implications for service providers to ethnic minorities need to be taken into account while planning services.

This article was published in Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

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