Religiosity in Malay Patients with HIV/AIDS: Correlation with Emotional Distress
Zahiruddin Othman, Nor Asyikin Fadzil, Rahimah Zakaria, Sharifah Zubaidiah Syed Jaapar, Maruzairi Husain
Religion promotes better health behavior, including less drug use and safer sexual practices. A total of 100 (60 males, 40 females) Malay Muslim HIV/AIDS patients were recruited in this study. Religiosity, emotional distress and stigma were measured using Hatta Islamic Religiosity Scale (HIRS), Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS)-21 and HIV Stigma Scale (HSS), respectively. It was found depression, anxiety and stress occurred in 28%, 6% and 2% of all subjects. Female were significantly more depressed than male subjects (P=0.006). Islamic practice was significantly higher in male subject (P<0.001). The Islamic religious practice was correlated with lower emotional distress; depression (r= -0.31, P= 0.016), anxiety (r= -0.25, P= 0.012) and stress (r= -0.28, P=0.015). Islamic religious knowledge was fairly correlated with disclosure concern (r=0.25, P=0.003). In conclusion, lower emotional distress was correlated with Islamic religious practice but not knowledge. Therefore, it is important to ensure improvement of Islamic practice in rehabilitation programs of HIV/AIDS patients.