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Article Dans Une Revue Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique Année : 2017

The influence of religion in depressive somatization in Africa


This study explored the link between religious practice and depressive somatization process in the Togolese sociocultural context. It was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted from January 16 to December 30, 2011 at the University Clinic of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology of the Lome Sylvanus Olympio University Hospital. The study included 144 depressed patients amongst which 96 women (66.66%) and 48 men (33.34%) with a mean age of 35.54 years (range 15 and 58 years) and a sex ratio of two for women. Among them, 84 were married (58.33%), 47 were single (32.64%) and 13 were divorced (9.03%). Only 12 of them did not attend school (8.33%) while 132 did it (91.67%), of which 24 attended primary schools (16.66%), 72 attended secondary schools (50%) and 36 attended higher schools (25.01%). By religious affiliations, 96 were Christians (66.67%) from all denominations including Pentecostals (16%) and 8% Protestants. Muslims comprised 16 members (11.11%) and 32 were animists (22.22%). The various pains (58.33%), digestive disorders (45.14%) and warm sensations of the body-type burns (36.10%) were the main manifestations of depressive suffering. The abdomen (36.10%), the precordial region (32.63%) and the head were the principal invested areas of somatization. The precordial and joint pains represented 66.75% and 27% respectively in men, pruritus and abdominal disorders accounted for 80% and 90% in women. There was a strong relationship between the unconscious choice of certain body areas of somatization and the sex of patients (corrected chi(2) = 156.47; P < 0.000; C = 0.5). Muslims somatized preferentially on the skin and ano-genital organs while Animists and Christians have mainly invested precordial and abdominal areas. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a relationship between the number of years of religious practice and somatization areas (F = 9.07 threshold at P > 0.001). The authors found that if depressive somatization is frequent, the probability of investing in an organ in such situations is reversely proportional to sex and the number of years spent in the religious practice. (C) 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


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Dates et versions

hal-03602462 , version 1 (09-03-2022)



Kouami Adansikou, Kossigan Kokou-Kpolou, Daniel Mbassa Menick, Charlemagne Simplice Moukouta. The influence of religion in depressive somatization in Africa. Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique, 2017, 175 (6), pp.536-540. ⟨10.1016/j.amp.2015.10.031⟩. ⟨hal-03602462⟩


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