Self-reported psychological distress and its relationship with religiousness of Nigerian physicians: A multicenter study

  • Oluyemi O. Akanni
  • Adeagbo F. Osundina
  • Imafidon O. Agbonile
  • Sunday O. Olotu
  • Olaniyi O. Ayilaraa
  • Kingsley O. Akhigbeb
Keywords: Physician; Psychological distress; Religiousness; Religious affiliation


Physicians are prone to psychological distress, and this has been poorly studied in association with religiousness. As a result, the prevalence of psychological distress among physicians and its relationship with religiousness was investigated. The study was conducted at two neuropsychiatric centers, and two teaching hospitals in the South-South and South-West regions of Nigeria. Demographics and practice-related characteristics of 231 physicians were collected in addition to report on psychological distress using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire, and a religiousness measuring scale, Ironson–Woods Spirituality/Religiosity Index. Chi-square and t-test analyses were done using SPSS version 19. The prevalence rate of significant psychological distress among physicians was 19.05%. The physicians’ specialty of practice fell short of statistically significant association with religiousness (X2=9.02, p=0.06). There was no significant association between physicians’ state of health and religiousness. Psychological distress is fairly common among physicians and shows no relationship with religiousness.


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eISSN: 1694-0423