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Although there is evidence of a relationship between religion/ spirituality and mental health, it remains unclear how Brazilian psychiatrists deal with the religion/spirituality of their patients.
To explore whether Brazilian psychiatrists enquire about religion/spirituality in their practice and whether their own beliefs influence their work.
Four hundred and eighty-four Brazilian psychiatrists completed a cross-sectional survey on religion/spirituality and clinical practice.
Most psychiatrists had a religious affiliation (67.4%) but more than half of the 484 participants (55.5%) did not usually enquire about patients' religion/spirituality. The most common reasons for not assessing patients' religion/spirituality were ‘being afraid of exceeding the role of a doctor’ (30.2%) and ‘lack of training’ (22.3%).
Very religious/spiritual psychiatrists were the most likely to ask about their patients' religion/spirituality. Training in how to deal with a patient's religiosity might help psychiatrists to develop better patient rapport and may contribute to the patient's quicker recovery.
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