Delusions of persecution and poisoning in patients with schizophrenia: sociocultural and religious background
Rudaleviciene P, Adomaitiene V, Stompe T, Narbekovas A, Meilius K, Raskauskiene N, Rudalevicius J, Bunevicius R.
Institute of Psychophysiology and Rehabilitation, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania.
Medicina (Kaunas). 2010;46(3):185-92.
This article presents data on the phenomenology of delusions of persecution and poisoning in patients with schizophrenia and determines parallels between sociodemographic status and personal religiosity and this type of delusions. We have studied the content of delusions in patients with schizophrenia looking for persecution and poisoning themes using Fragebogen fuer psychotische Symptome (FPS).
A total of 295 patients suffering from schizophrenia participated in this study; 74.7% reported delusions of persecution. The proportion of female patients (81.9%) who felt persecuted was almost one-third higher than the proportion of male patients (66.9%). The prevalence of delusions of persecution was lower in the group of persons for whom their faith was personally important (73.4%) than in the atheistic group (86.7%). Delusions of persecution and poisoning were strongly intercorrelated. Delusions of poisoning were reported by 57.8% of respondents: 54.8% by male and 60.6% by female patients. In multivariate analysis, delusions of persecution were more prevalent in women compared to men; in those with a chronic course of illness compared to those with periodic course; in those with small size of family compared to those with large family. The presence of delusions of being poisoned was related to older age of the patient, higher than secondary education, chronic course of schizophrenia, and younger parental age. Personal importance of the faith was not associated with prevalence of delusions of persecution and poisoning in patients with schizophrenia.