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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-54

Supernatural beliefs, aetiological models and help seeking behaviour in patients with schizophrenia


Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.110951

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Background: Few studies have evaluated the supernatural beliefs of patients with schizophrenia. This study aimed to study the personal beliefs, aetiological models and help seeking behaviour of patients with schizophrenia using a self-rated questionnaire. Materials and Methods: Seventy three patients returned the completed supernatural Attitude questionnaire. Results: 62% of patients admitted that people in their community believed in sorcery and other magico-religious phenomena. One fourth to half of patients believed in ghosts/evil spirit (26%), spirit intrusion (28.8%) and sorcery (46.6%). Two-third patients believed that mental illness can occur either due to sorcery, ghosts/evil spirit, spirit intrusion, divine wrath, planetary/astrological influences, dissatisfied or evil spirits and bad deeds of the past. 40% of the subjects attributed mental disorders to more than one of these beliefs. About half of the patients (46.6%) believed that only performance of prayers was sufficient to improve their mental status. Few patients (9.6%) believed that magico-religious rituals were sufficient to improve their mental illness but about one-fourth (24.7%) admitted that during recent episode either they or their caregivers performed magico-religious rituals. Conclusion: Supernatural beliefs are common in patients with schizophrenia and many of them attribute the symptoms of mental disorders to these beliefs.


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