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Assess Attitude and Beliefs Towards Role of Magico-Religious and Supernatural Influences in Mental Illness Among Care Givers of Psychiatry Patient Attended in Selected Mental Hospital, Palanpur, Gujarat

Chris Thomas


Background: The term magical-religious is commonly used to describe beliefs prevalent in a particular culture concerning various supernatural influences operating in the environment. In Indian sub-continent magico-religious beliefs are frequently conjectured as causal explanations of mental illnesses, and consequently services of “faith healers” are often sought for treatment of mental disorders. Objectives:(1) To assess attitude and beliefs among care givers of psychiatry patient towards magico-religious and supernatural influence in mental illness. (2) To find out the association between magico-religious and supernatural influence with socio demographic variable. (3) To correlate attitude of care giver with magico-religious and supernatural influence in mental illness. Material and Methods: A nonexperimental, descriptive survey approach was used for the study. Data was collected from 60 care givers of psychiatry patient from Selected Mental Hospital, Palanpur by nonprobability convenient sampling technique. Self-structured multiple-choice questionnaires was used for data collection. Supernatural attitude questionnaires (SAQ) developed by Kulhara et al. was used for collecting data. Results: Finding related to assessment of magico-religious and supernatural beliefs among primary care taker of psychiatry patient shows that highest mean score (2.7±0.907) which is 67.05% of total score was obtained in the domain of Treatment of mental illness and help seeking behavior. Findings related to correlation between attitude with magico-religious and supernatural beliefs reveal that there is significant moderate postive corrletion between Care giver magico-religious beliefs and patient magico-religious beliefs is perceived by care giver(r=0.509), Care giver magico-religious beliefs and etiology of mental illness (related to super natural cause) in general (0.446). Conclusion: The faith healers are more acceptable in the society than the doctors perhaps because of the social stigma and the misconceptions regarding the psychiatric illnesses. A significant positive correlation was present between attitudes and beliefs of care givers about role of magico-religious and supernatural influences in causation of mental disorders.

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