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Article Published In Vol.3 (May-June-2015)

Religion and Coping with Caregiving Stress

Pages : 613-619

Author : Dr.Meeta Malhotra and Prof. Komilla Thapa

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Objectives: Religious beliefs and practices constitute one of the most frequently used methods of coping in times of crisis. Family caregivers of persons with serious mental illness often turn to spirituality for support, and religiosity may be an important contributor to caregiver adjustment. The purpose of the current study was to present insights in how caregiving is experienced by family caregivers, and the religious coping strategies utilised by them. Design: The qualitative descriptive method was used. Methods: 75 caregivers belonging to both urban and rural areas were interviewed. The age of the participants ranged from 18-75 years and the mean age was 44.44 years. Interviews were done and qualitative inquiry was used to enable the caregiver to narrate his/her story. Data was qualitatively analyzed and several themes were identified. Results: From the narratives of the caregivers, it is clear that faith healing and medical modes of treatment coexist. Almost all the caregivers had tried faith healing at one time or the other. Caregivers admitted having faith in traditional healing. Caregivers said that they have performed sacred ceremonies, prayers, and visited religious places. Conclusions: It can be concluded that religion may serve as a potentially effective method of coping for and so the need is to integrateit into psychiatric and psychological practice. Moreover, collaborative partnerships between mental healthprofessionals and religious communities representa powerful resource for meeting thesupport needs of caregivers of persons with serious mentalillness.

Keywords: Caregiving; Burden; Coping; Religious coping strategise




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