Religiosity as a Protective or Prognostic Factor of Depression in Later Life; Results From a Community Survey in The Netherlands

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1997 Sep;96(3):199-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1997.tb10152.x.


This study examines the impact of religiosity on the incidence and course of depressive syndromes in a community-based sample of elderly people in The Netherlands (n = 177). The course of depression was assessed in five waves of measurements, covering a period of 1 year. Religiosity was defined as salience of religion compared to the salience of other aspects of life. Religious salience was not associated with incidence of depression, but showed a relatively strong association with improvement of depression among the respondents who were depressed at the first measurement. This association was most prominent among subjects with poor physical health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Frail Elderly / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sick Role