Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1555–1562 | Cite as

Religious Delusions in a Xhosa Schizophrenia Population

  • Alida Connell
  • Liezl Koen
  • Dana Niehaus
  • Karen J. Cloete
  • Esme Jordaan
  • Ulla Botha
Original Paper


Here, we assessed for the first time the frequency of religious delusions and the effect of treatment on religiosity and the phenomena of religious delusions in a Xhosa schizophrenia population. Religious delusions were present in 42 (70 %) participants, and treatment significantly reduced religiosity (p = 0.02) as well as mean scores for certain phenomena associated with the delusions including changes in both thinking (p = 0.0001) and behaviour (p = 0.0001), as well as affective response to the delusion (p = 0.0001) The high frequency of religious delusions may indicate a higher tolerance for religious delusions in this community. It is therefore important to educate spiritual leaders on mental illness.


Religious delusions Religiosity Schizophrenia Xhosa South Africa 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alida Connell
    • 1
  • Liezl Koen
    • 1
  • Dana Niehaus
    • 1
  • Karen J. Cloete
    • 1
  • Esme Jordaan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ulla Botha
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health ScienceStellenbosch UniversityTygerbergSouth Africa
  2. 2.Biostatics UnitMedical Research CouncilBellvilleSouth Africa
  3. 3.Statistics and Population Studies DepartmentUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa

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