Religiosity, Guilt, Altruism and Forgiveness in Alcohol Dependence: Results of a Cross-sectional and Prospective Cohort Study

Religiosity, Guilt, Altruism and Forgiveness in Alcohol Dependence: Results of a Cross-sectional... Abstract Aims To compare religious denomination, religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects and to prospectively investigate their relationship to the disorder’s 24-month course following in-patient withdrawal treatment. Method This study in Franconia (a mainly Christian protestant region of southern Germany) applied six questionnaires to evaluate religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness in 166 alcohol-dependent in-patients during withdrawal and compared findings with that of 240 healthy controls. Results Compared to controls religious denomination was more frequently reported by the patients (OR = 1.72, P = 0.014) and patients showed higher guilt (P < 0.001). The subjective attainability of altruism was lower in patients than in controls (P = 0.015). Higher scores on scale of inter-religious private practice predicted earlier (Rho = −0.184, P = 0.021) and more frequent alcohol-related readmissions during the follow-up (Rho = 0.207, P = 0.009). Higher religious affiliation was related to earlier (Rho = −0.214, P = 0.008) and more frequent alcohol-related readmissions (Rho = 0189, P = 0.020). Lower values of subjective attainability of altruism predicted a worse outcome (earlier [Rho = 0.231, P = 0.003] and more frequent readmissions [Rho = −0.223, P = 0.004]). The sex-specific analyses show that some of the associations are stronger in women and others are stronger in men; however, these gender differences are small and possibly biased by multiple hypothesis testing. Conclusions We identified religious denomination, private religious practice, religious affiliation, guilt and reduced attainability of altruism as risk factors for alcohol dependence and a worse follow-up outcome. Our findings may help to establish future preventive and therapeutic strategies. INTRODUCTION Religiosity has been a subject of research for more than 70 years with respect to the etiology, maintenance and treatment of alcohol dependence (Piderman et al., 2007). Some studies indicate a protective role of religiosity in the etiology and maintenance of alcohol dependence (Rice, 1941; Seliger, 1947; Drerup et al., 2011). However, findings regarding religious affiliation and early religious activity on the development and the course of alcohol dependence are inconclusive (Shalloo, 1941; Walters, 1957). (For research focusing on religiosity in mental and physical health, see Koenig et al. (2012) and in gaming disorder, see Braun et al. (2016).) Recently, the religiosity/spirituality section of the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN) has published a position paper ‘Recommendation for Dealing with Religiosity/Spirituality in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy’ (Utsch et al., 2017). This review of the literature finds that the correlation between power of faith and therapeutic effects is modulated by other mechanisms such as psychological or neurobiological. In this study of religiosity and related psychological traits of guilt, altruism and forgiveness, we compare alcohol-dependent patients and healthy controls. Secondly we investigated the parameters' potential in predicting alcohol-related hospital readmission following in-patient withdrawal treatment for alcoholism. METHODS Study cohort This project on religious denomination, religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness was part of the bicentric, cross-sectional, and longitudinal Neurobiology of Alcoholism (NOAH) study. In total, we recruited 200 alcohol-dependent patients who were admitted as in-patients for withdrawal treatment and 240 healthy controls, recruited from the south German region of Franconia via local and online advertisements as well as via flyers. Patients met criteria for alcohol dependence according to the ICD-10 (WHO, 1992) and/or for alcohol use disorder according to the DSM-5 (APA, 2013). Further details on the study design may be drawn from Lenz et al. (2017) and from Weinland et al. (2017). We followed the patients for 24 months after study inclusion. The number of alcohol-related hospital readmissions and the days to first readmission were extracted from the electronic patients’ records. In case of no alcohol-related readmission during the follow-up according to the patients' records, we set the days to first readmission to 730 days. The study was conducted according to the ethical principles of the World Medical Association (sixth revision of the Declaration of Helsinki, Seoul 2008) and the International Conference on Harmonization Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (1996). It was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (NOAH study ID 81_12 B). All participants provided written informed consent prior to inclusion. Employed questionnaires For detecting the religious and psychological dimensions of interest, we applied six well-evaluated questionnaires: Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS; Huber and Huber, 2012). The scale was applied to measure the centrality as the importance or salience of religious meanings in personality. It quantifies the general intensities of the following five theoretically defined core dimensions which together can be considered as representative of individual religiosity. Public practice items: How often do you take part in religious services? How important is it to take part in religious services? How important is it for you to be connected to a religious community? Private practice items: How often do you pray? How often do you meditate? How important is personal prayer for you? How important is meditation for you? How often do you pray spontaneously when inspired by daily situations? How often do you try to connect to the divine spontaneously when inspired by daily situations? Religious experience items: How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that God or something divine intervenes in your life? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that you are in one with all? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that God or something divine wants to communicate or to reveal something to you? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that you are touched by a divine power? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that God or something divine is present? Ideology items: To what extent do you believe that God or something divine exists? To what extent do you believe in an afterlife, e.g. immortality of the soul, resurrection of the dead or reincarnation? In your opinion, how probable is it that a higher power really exists? Intellect items: How often do you think about religious issues? How interested are you in learning more about religious topics? How often do you keep yourself informed about religious questions through radio, television, Internet, newspapers or books? Brief Instrument (BI). The questionnaire was employed to detect ‘religious affiliation’ and ‘well-being’ (Mehnert and Koch, 2001). It represents a compendium of the Spiritual Experience Index (Genia, 1991), the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (Paloutzian/Ellison, 1982) and the Religious Problem Solving Scale (Pargament et al., 1988). Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being (MIRSB, Unterrainer et al., 2010; MIRSB-E, Unterrainer et al., 2012). The inventory allows quantification of the following scales. General religiosity items: My faith gives me a feeling of security. It is possible for me to find contentment in intimate conversations with God. I will be able to overcome all problems with God’s help. In certain moments in my life, I feel very close to God. With God’s help, I will be happy once again. I know that God is merciful. I enjoy attending to religious community events. I feel the presence of God in nature. Forgiveness items: There are things which I cannot forgive. There are people whom I hate. There are people whom I will never be able to forgive. There are things which people should not forgive. If somebody hurts me, I usually try to get revenge. The thought of seeing my enemies suffer satisfies me. There are people who deserve to be treated badly. I have forgiven those people who have hurt me. Hope immanent items: I view the future with optimism. I think that things will improve in the future. I think my life is moving in the right direction. I think that I will have more positive than negative experiences in the future. I think that I will live my life in the future just as I envisage it. I have a precise picture of what my future should be like. The future seems to be extremely uncertain. I believe that the future holds exciting challenges for me. Connectedness items: I have experienced the feeling of being absorbed into something greater. I believe that I will be reborn after my death. There are people with whom I feel a supernatural connection. I have had experiences through which I have realized that nothing ever dies. I believe in further existence after death. I have experienced things which I cannot express in words. I have experienced things which radiate a special kind of energy. I believe that I will have experiences in the future to which very few people have access. Hope transcendent items: I often think about the fact that I will have to leave my loved ones behind. I would do anything to prolong the lives of those I love. It is hard for me to think that my loved ones will one day no longer live. I am terrified of being forgotten after my death. I would do anything to prolong my life. I am scared about what will happen to me after my death. All hope ends with death. I fear being made accountable for the things I have done wrong after my death. Experience of sense and meaning items: I have experienced true (authentic) feelings. I have experienced deep affection. I have experienced true friendship. I have often experienced openness and honesty. I have experienced things which I want to experience again and again. I have often had experiences which have deeply affected me. In my experience, it is possible for me to become so involved in something that I forget everything around me. I have had one or more experiences in which the meaning of life became clear to me. Interpersonal Guilt questionnaire (IGQ; O’Connor et al., 1997; German short version; Albani et al., 2002a, b). The questionnaire allows distinguishing the subscales Separation Guilt, Survivor Guilt and Organized Guilt as components of Interpersonal Guilt (=sum score). Altruism (=acting for the welfare of others) as a component of the life goals questionnaire GOALS (Pöhlmann and Brunstein, 1997; Pöhlmann et al., 2010). Importance: How important is it for you to reach this goal in your lifetime? Attainability: How good do you think your chances are to reach this goal in your lifetime? Success: How successful are you currently in attaining this goal? For detecting the level of forgiveness in patients and controls, we used the scale on willingness to forgive (‘Skala der Bereitschaft zu Verzeihen’ [SBV], Allemand et al., 2008), which allows distinguishing the willingness to pardon as a function depending on the degree of regret on the part of the transgressor. Statistical analysis Sum scores of questionnaire items for all sub- and sum-scales were calculated and are presented as median and interquartile range (IQR) in the text and the tables. We used χ2 tests for nominal variables and Mann–Whitney U tests for continuous variables to compare alcohol-dependent patients with healthy control subjects. Correlations were calculated with Spearman’s rank correlation method. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to estimate the internal consistency reliability. Questionnaire datasets with missing values were excluded. In a first step, we analyzed the total sample. Because of the well-known sex differences in alcohol dependence (Lenz et al., 2012; WHO, 2014) the NOAH study was balanced with regard to gender. That enabled us to subsequently conduct analyses separately for men and women. The P values < 0.05 for two-sided tests were considered to be statistically significant. We used IBM SPSS Statistics Version 21 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). RESULTS We here investigated 166 alcohol-dependent patients and 240 healthy control subjects (for sociodemographic characteristics, see Table 1) because 34 patients discontinued study participation prematurely and were excluded if they failed to complete at least one of the questionnaires. Table 1. Sociodemographic characteristics Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Median (interquartile range) and absolute as well as relative frequencies; missing values <10% for body mass index (BMI), months of employment (previous year), smoking status, German version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score, age at onset of alcohol dependence, < 25% for previous withdrawal treatments, lifetime drinking, daily ethanol intake. aMann–Whitney U-test, bχ2 test. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 1. Sociodemographic characteristics Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Median (interquartile range) and absolute as well as relative frequencies; missing values <10% for body mass index (BMI), months of employment (previous year), smoking status, German version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score, age at onset of alcohol dependence, < 25% for previous withdrawal treatments, lifetime drinking, daily ethanol intake. aMann–Whitney U-test, bχ2 test. P < 0.05 in bold. We tested whether belonging to a religious denomination is related to alcohol dependence and found an increased risk for alcohol dependence in the study subjects with a religious denomination in comparison to participants without a religious denomination; this effect was stronger in males than in females (χ2 = 6.0, df = 1, OR = 1.72, P = 0.014; patients (n): 43 without religious denomination, 58 Protestants, 54 Roman Catholics, 7 with another religious denomination, 4 with missing data; controls (n): 92 without religious denomination, 77 Protestants, 63 Roman Catholics, 8 with another religious denomination; females, χ2 = 1.8, df = 1, OR = 1.60, P = 0.179, males, χ2 = 4.5, df = 1, OR = 1.83, P = 0.035). The risk for an alcohol-related readmission during the 24-month follow-up did not significantly differ between patients with and patients without a religious denomination (χ2 = 0.5, df = 1, OR =1.32, P = 0.464; females, χ2 = 0.6, df = 1, OR =1.54, P = 0.447, males, χ2 = 0.3, df = 1, OR =1.29, P = 0.592). Afterwards, we investigated differences of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to forgive between patients and healthy controls subjects. The patients scored higher on the subscales of religious experiences (basic) (median(patients) 6 [IQR 3–9] vs. median(controls) 5 [IQR 3–8], U = 16,467, P = 0.041), private practice (inter-religious) (6 [4–9] vs. 5 [3–7], U = 16,501, P = 0.046), connectedness (22 [15–30] vs. 19 [12–26], U = 13,233, P < 0.001) and experience of sense and meaning (38 [32–42] vs. 35 [31–39], U = 13,714, P = 0.003), survivor guilt (18 [13–24] vs. 11 [8–15], U = 8,659, P < 0.001), separation guilt (17 [12–22] vs. 14 [11–17], U = 12,773, P < 0.001), organized guilt (27 [23–30] vs. 24 [20–28], U = 12,883, P < 0.001), and the guilt sum score (61 [52–71] vs. 50 [43–58], U = 9,488, P < 0.001). They scored lower on well-being (42 [36–49] vs. 50 [44–56], U = 10,080, P < 0.001), forgiveness (32 [24–40] vs. 37 [31–42], U = 13,055, P < 0.001), hope immanent (33 [27–40] vs. 38 [33–42], U = 12,282, P < 0.001), hope transcendent (31 [26–36] vs. 37 [31–41], U = 10,053, P < 0.001), the MIRSB sum score (175 [155–194] vs. 179 [164–205], U = 14,595, P = 0.031), attainability (15 [12–17] vs. 16 [13–18], U = 16,677, P = 0.015) and on success of altruism (13 [10–16] vs. 14 [12–16], U = 16,344, P = 0.006). There were no significant group differences for the following subscales: intellect (basic) (5 [4–8] vs. 6 [5–8], U = 17,180, P = 0.173), ideology (basic) (8 [5–11] vs. 8 [5–12], U = 18,216, P = 0.673), public practice (basic) (5 [3–7] vs. 5 [3–7], U = 18,333, P = 0.747), private practice (basic) (6 [3–11] vs. 6 [3–9], U = 17,309, P = 0.206), religious experiences (inter-religious) (5 [4–8] vs. 5 [3–7], U = 17,814, P = 0.428), religious affiliation (19 [13–32] vs. 19 [12–32], U = 16,433, P = 0.567), general religiosity (19 [8–32] vs. 18 [9–31], U = 16,457, P = 0.739), importance of altruism (16 [13–19] vs. 16 [14–18], U = 19,158, P = 0.804), and willingness to pardon without regret (8 [6–11] vs. 9 [7–11], U = 17,550, P = 0.143) or with regret (13 [11–16] vs. 14 [11–16], U = 17,867, P = 0.238). The gender-specific results are shown in Table 2. Table 2. Gender-specific differences of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (= sum of subitems). #Number of questionnaire items for scale calculation. aMann–Whitney U-test. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 2. Gender-specific differences of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (= sum of subitems). #Number of questionnaire items for scale calculation. aMann–Whitney U-test. P < 0.05 in bold. We analyzed whether religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness predicted alcohol-related readmission following in-patient alcohol withdrawal treatment (Table 3). Patients with alcohol-related readmission scored higher on the private practice (basic and inter-religious), and the religious experiences (inter-religious) subscales. Higher private practice (inter-religious) also correlated with more alcohol-related readmissions during the follow-up and fewer days to first alcohol-related readmission. The patients with alcohol-related readmission scored higher on the religious affiliation subscale and higher scores predicted more alcohol-related readmissions and fewer days to first readmission. Moreover, we found lower attainability of altruism in patients with alcohol-related readmission and lower scores also predicted more alcohol-related readmissions and fewer days to first readmission. Table 3. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism, and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 3. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism, and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. The gender-specific subgroup analyses revealed that private practice (inter-religious), hope immanent, attainability and success of altruism, and willingness to pardon with regret were predominantly predictive in female alcohol-dependent patients and religious experiences (inter-religious), religious affiliation, connectedness and attainability of altruism in male patients (Tables 4 and 5). Table 4. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in female patients Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 4. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in female patients Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 5. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in male patients Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 5. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in male patients Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. DISCUSSION To the authors’ knowledge, the study reported here is the first to gender-specifically compare religious denomination, religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness between alcohol-dependent patients and age as well as sex-matched healthy control subjects and to evaluate their predictive potential for alcohol-related readmission following in-patient withdrawal treatment. We found an association between likelihood of being in the patient sample and acknowledging a religious denomination. By contrast, Hodge et al. (2001) reported that spiritual or religious involvement in south west USA was associated with decreased risk of alcohol or drug abuse, problems, and dependence. Similarly, Michalak et al. (2007) found in their examination of the data from the US National Alcohol Survey that religious affiliation was associated with abstinence from alcohol use. However, in the USA religion might relate differently to alcohol behaviors, because denominations which prohibit alcohol (e.g. Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Muslims) are more frequent there than in our European Franconian sample. Most of our study subjects were Catholics or Protestants and might thus be more accustomed to ritual incorporation of alcohol in form of wine due to their religious background. As suggested by Haber et al. (2011), personality profiles strongly influence the relationship between alcohol dependence and religion. This may also account for inconsistencies between different studies. Our finding that religious affiliation is positively related to attitude towards alcohol is in accordance with Walters’ findings (1957) of a transgenerational effect. In 50 alcohol-dependent patients of a Midwest Veterans Administration Hospital, he found that parents of alcohol-dependent individuals were more likely to be church members than parents of control subjects. To provide additional supporting evidence for our result of religiosity being relevant to alcohol dependence, we analyzed associations of religiosity with alcohol-related hospital readmission during the 24-month follow-up. Interestingly, higher private practice was not only associated with alcohol dependence per se; we found also that higher private practice and higher religious affiliation predicted a shortened interval to first alcohol-related readmission as well as more frequent readmissions. In summary, religious denomination and religiosity are related to increased risk for alcohol dependence and a worse 24-month outcome in our cohort. Identifying underlying mechanisms was beyond the scope of this study. Nevertheless, we speculate that life burden and chronic illnesses motivate people to ask about the sense of life and other existential items. An answer to these fundamental questions can be found in a religious world outlook. This aspect could contribute to the association between religiosity and alcohol dependence as well as religiosity and worse outcome, as shown in our study. Moreover, Dutton and van der Linden (2017) discuss that intelligence is negatively associated with religiousness. That might stimulate the hypothesis that premorbid intelligence is negatively related to developing alcohol dependence. However, further studies are needed to illuminate the concrete underpinnings. We measured higher scores on religious experiences, connectedness, experience of sense and meaning, and guilt in the patients’ cohort in comparison to the healthy controls. The significantly higher scores in patients’ connectedness might be confounded by repetitive inebriation experiences. This bias has been well-known for millenia: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5: 18 in: Witkiewitz et al., 2016). Accordingly, we speculate that the higher scores on the scale of experience of sense and meaning in alcohol-dependent patients are also a consequence of frequent inebriation experiences. The alcohol-dependent patients’ higher scores on the scales for interpersonal guilt are understandable. An individual might decide to engage in alcohol misuse to deal with guilt or shame and vice versa the pathological alcohol consumption might also cause a feeling of guilt (Ianni et al., 2010, Webb et al., 2006). Self-blame as a maladaptive coping strategy has been associated with a worse outcome in alcohol-dependent patients (Tapert et al., 2004). Whether the feeling of guilt is a cause or consequence of alcohol dependence remains to be shown; however, our data suggest that it might be a relevant psychotherapeutic target to prevent and to deal with alcohol dependence. In comparison to healthy control subjects, patients scored lower on well-being (BI), forgiveness, and immanent and transcendent hope (MIRSB) suggesting that these factors might be protective against alcohol dependence. The lowered patients’ levels of forgiveness perhaps reflect a wish for revenge. At this point, one might hypothesize, that patients have less tendency of self-forgiving, which would be in line with the increased feelings of guilt discussed above because forgiveness of self has been evaluated as a strategy for coping with feelings of guilt and shame (Hall and Finchman, 2005). Thus, forgiveness as a specific dimension of religiousness should be tested as an element to enhance recovery. However, its operating mechanisms in general are unknown (Webb et al., 2011). Interestingly, we found no significant difference between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects with regard to the SBV forgiveness scales. The MIRSB and SBV questionnaires differ in that the MIRSB forgiveness scale is surveyed in a quite general and abstract way, whereas the SBV uses concrete exemplifications to explore the willingness to forgive. Moreover, the SBV differentiates between the willingness to pardon without and with regret. The lack of a group difference on the SBV scales agrees with results showing that forgiveness did not predict alcohol dependence outcomes (Webb et al., 2011; Langman and Chung, 2013). The sex-balanced cohort which enabled analysis of gender-specific effects of religiosity on alcohol dependence is a strength of our study. However, the gender differences shown in the tables should not be over-interpreted and need validation in future studies. The Franconian region, where the study was conducted, is mainly inhabited by Protestants. This reduces the generalizability of the study findings and is a relevant limitation. Moreover, we cannot exclude that some of the findings classified as significant represent false positives. According to the explorative study design, our data have not been corrected for multiple testing and need to be confirmed in future investigations. CONCLUSION As far as we know, this study shows for the first time an increased risk for alcohol dependence and a worse outcome in study subjects with a religious denomination, more private religious practice, religious affiliation, guilt and reduced attainability of altruism. Further research is needed to analyze the role of the personality within the trio of alcohol dependence, religiosity and personality and to develop differentiated strategies to enhance the positive components of religiosity on alcohol dependence. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Dr. Andreas Ahnert, Ute Hamers and Dr. Kristina Bayerlein for the opportunity and the support to recruit patients at the Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik of the Klinikum am Europakanal Erlangen. We gratefully appreciate the support of Juliane Behrens, Sarah Kubis, Katrin Mikolaiczik, Sarah Saigali, Marina Sibach, and Petya Tanovska in recruiting patients and healthy control subjects. We recognize Prof. Dr. Teresa Biermann for inspirational support concerning the topic of religiosity/spirituality. We express our gratitude to Prof. Dr. Jonathan D. Chick for revisional hints. CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. AUTHORS’ CONTRIBUTION Conceived and designed the experiments: B.B., C.W., J.K., B.L. Performed the experiments: B.B., C.W., B.L. Analyzed the data and wrote the article: B.B., B.L. Commented on the article and provided intellectual input: J.K. REFERENCES Albani C , Blaser G , Körner A , et al. . ( 2002 a) Der “Fragebogen zu interpersonellen Schuldgefühlen” (FIS)- Anwendung in einer repräsentativen Bevölkerungsstichprobe und bei PsychotherapiepatientInnen . Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 52 : 189 – 97 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Albani C , Blaser G , Körner A , et al. . ( 2002 b) The German short version of the interpersonal guilt questionnaire- validation in a population-based sample and clinical application . Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 52 : 189 – 97 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Allemand M , Sassing-Meng A , Huber S , et al. . ( 2008 ) Entwicklung und Validierung einer Skala der Bereitschaft zu verzeihen (Sbv) . Diagnostica 54 : 71 – 84 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS American Psychiatric Association . ( 2013 ) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , 5th edn . Washington, DC i.a. : American Psychiatric Publisher . Braun B , Kornhuber J , Lenz B , et al. . ( 2016 ) Gaming and religion: the impact of spirituality and denomination . J Relig Health 55 : 1464 – 71 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Drerup ML , Johnson TJ , Bindl S . ( 2011 ) Mediators of the relationship between religiousness/spirituality and alcohol problems in an adult community sample . Addict Behav 36 : 1317 – 20 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Dutton E , van der Linden D . ( 2017 ) Why is intelligence negatively associated with religiousness? Evol Psychol Sci 3 : 392 – 403 . doi:10.1007/s40806-017-0101-0 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Genia V . ( 1991 ) The spiritual experience index: a measure of spiritual maturity . J Relig Health 30 : 337 – 45 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Haber JR , Koenig LB , Jacob T . ( 2011 ) Alcoholism, personality and religion/spirituality: an integrative review . Curr Drug Abuse Rev 4 : 250 – 60 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Hall JH , Fincham FD . ( 2005 ) Self-forgiveness: the stepchild of forgiveness research . J Soc Clin Psychol 24 : 621 – 37 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Hodge LC , Cardenas P , Montoya H . ( 2001 ) Substance use: spirituality and religious participation factors among rural youths . Soc Work Res 25 : 153 – 61 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Huber S , Huber OW . ( 2012 ) The centrality of religiosity scale (CRS) . Religions 3 : 710 – 24 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Ianni P , Hibard S , Kenneth EH , et al. . ( 2010 ) The association between self-forgiveness and alcohol misuse depends on the severity of drinker's shame: toward a buffering model . Addict Disord Their Treat 9 : 106 – 11 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Koenig HG , King DE , Carson VB . ( 2012 ) Handbook of Religion and Health . New York : Oxford University Press . Langman L , Chung MC . ( 2013 ) The relationship between forgiveness, spirituality, traumatic guilt and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among people with addictions . Psychiatr Q 84 : 11 – 26 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Lenz B , Mühle C , Braun B , et al. . ( 2017 ) Prenatal and adult androgen activities in alcohol dependence . Acta Psychiatr Scand 136 : 96 – 107 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Lenz B , Müller CP , Stoessel C , et al. . ( 2012 ) Sex hormone activity in alcohol addiction: integrating organizational and activational effects . Prog Neurobiol 96 : 136 – 63 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Mehnert A , Koch U . ( 2001 ) Religiosität und psychische Befindlichkeit-Überprüfung von Instrumenten zur Erfassung von Religiosität . Z Med Psych (10) 171 – 82 . Michalak L , Trocki K , Bond J . ( 2007 ) Religion and alcohol in the U.S. National Alcohol Survey: how important is religion for abstention and drinking? Drug Alcohol Depend 16 : 268 – 80 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS O’Connor LE , Berry JW , Weiss J , et al. . ( 1997 ) Interpersonal guilt: the development of a new measurement . J Clin Psychol 53 : 73 – 89 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Paloutzian RF , Ellison CW . ( 1982 ) Loneliness, spiritual well-being, and quality of life. In Peplau LA , Perlman D (eds) . Loneliness: A Sourcebook of Current Theory, Research and Therapy . New York : John Wiley & Sons , 224 – 37 . Pargament KI , Kenneth J , Hathaway W , et al. . ( 1988 ) Religion and the problem-solving process: three styles of coping . J Sci Stud Relig 27 : 90 – 104 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Piderman KM , Schneekloth TD , Pankratz VS , et al. . ( 2007 ) Spirituality in alcoholics during treatment . Am J Addict 16 : 232 – 7 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Pöhlmann K , Brunstein JC . ( 1997 ) GOALS: Ein Fragebogen zur Messung von Lebenszielen . Diagnostica 43 : 63 – 79 . Pöhlmann K , Brunstein JC , Koch R , et al. . ( 2010 ) Der Lebenszielfragebogen GOALS: Befunde zur internen und externen Validität auf der Basis einer repräsentativen Bevölkerungsstichprobe und einer klinischen Stichprobe . Z Med Psychol 19 : 70 – 80 . Rice OR . ( 1941 ) Religion and the church in relation to alcohol addiction I. Religious ressources in the treatment of alcohol addiction . J Stud Alcohol 3 : 393 – 9 . Seliger RV . ( 1947 ) Religious and similar experiences and revelations in patients with alcohol problems . JEP 8 : 727 – 31 . Shalloo JP . ( 1941 ) Some cultural factors in the etiology of alcoholism . Q J Stud Alcohol 2 : 464 – 78 . Tapert SF , Ozyurt SS , Myers MG , et al. . ( 2004 ) Neurocognitive ability in adults coping with alcohol and drug relapse temptations . AJDAA 30 : 445 – 60 . Unterrainer H-F , Huber H-P , Ladenhauf KH , et al. . ( 2010 ) MI-RSB 48. Die Entwicklung eines multidimensionalen Inventars zum religiös-spirituellen Befinden . Diagnostica 56 : 82 – 93 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Unterrainer H-F , Nelson O , Collicutt J , et al. . ( 2012 ) The English version of the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being (MI-RSB-E): first results from British students . Religions 3 : 588 – 99 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Utsch M , Anderssen-Reuster U , Frick E , et al. . ( 2017 ) Empfehlungen zum Umgang mit Religiosität und Spiritualität in Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie . Spir Care 6 : 141 – 6 . Walters OS . ( 1957 ) The religious background of fifty alcoholics . Q J Stud Alcohol 18 : 121 – 5 . Google Scholar PubMed Webb JR , Robinson EAR , Brower KJ , et al. . ( 2006 ) Forgiveness and alcohol problems among people entering substance abuse treatment . J Addict Dis 25 : 55 – 67 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Webb JR , Robinson EAR , Brower KJ . ( 2011 ) Mental health, not social support, mediates forgiveness-alcohol outcome relationship . Psychol Addict Behav 25 : 462 – 73 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Weinland C , Braun B , Mühle C , et al. . ( 2017 ) Cloninger type 2 score and Lesch typology predict hospital readmission of female and male alcohol-dependent inpatients during a 24–month follow-up . Alcohol Clin Exp Res 41 : 1760 – 7 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Witkiewitz K , McCallion E , Kirouac M . ( 2016 ) Religious affiliation and spiritual practices: an examination of the role of spirituality in alcohol use and alcohol use disorder . Alcohol Res 38 : 55 – 8 . Google Scholar PubMed World Health Organisation . ( 1992 ) International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems , 10th Revision (ICD-10), Geneva : World Health Organisation . World Health Organization . ( 2014 ) Global status report on alcohol and health. http://www.who.int/entity/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf (27 March 2018, date last accessed). © The Author(s) 2018. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Alcohol and Alcoholism Oxford University Press

Religiosity, Guilt, Altruism and Forgiveness in Alcohol Dependence: Results of a Cross-sectional and Prospective Cohort Study

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ou_press/religiosity-guilt-altruism-and-forgiveness-in-alcohol-dependence-7Xf3pmpnOe
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2018. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0735-0414
eISSN
1464-3502
D.O.I.
10.1093/alcalc/agy026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Aims To compare religious denomination, religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects and to prospectively investigate their relationship to the disorder’s 24-month course following in-patient withdrawal treatment. Method This study in Franconia (a mainly Christian protestant region of southern Germany) applied six questionnaires to evaluate religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness in 166 alcohol-dependent in-patients during withdrawal and compared findings with that of 240 healthy controls. Results Compared to controls religious denomination was more frequently reported by the patients (OR = 1.72, P = 0.014) and patients showed higher guilt (P < 0.001). The subjective attainability of altruism was lower in patients than in controls (P = 0.015). Higher scores on scale of inter-religious private practice predicted earlier (Rho = −0.184, P = 0.021) and more frequent alcohol-related readmissions during the follow-up (Rho = 0.207, P = 0.009). Higher religious affiliation was related to earlier (Rho = −0.214, P = 0.008) and more frequent alcohol-related readmissions (Rho = 0189, P = 0.020). Lower values of subjective attainability of altruism predicted a worse outcome (earlier [Rho = 0.231, P = 0.003] and more frequent readmissions [Rho = −0.223, P = 0.004]). The sex-specific analyses show that some of the associations are stronger in women and others are stronger in men; however, these gender differences are small and possibly biased by multiple hypothesis testing. Conclusions We identified religious denomination, private religious practice, religious affiliation, guilt and reduced attainability of altruism as risk factors for alcohol dependence and a worse follow-up outcome. Our findings may help to establish future preventive and therapeutic strategies. INTRODUCTION Religiosity has been a subject of research for more than 70 years with respect to the etiology, maintenance and treatment of alcohol dependence (Piderman et al., 2007). Some studies indicate a protective role of religiosity in the etiology and maintenance of alcohol dependence (Rice, 1941; Seliger, 1947; Drerup et al., 2011). However, findings regarding religious affiliation and early religious activity on the development and the course of alcohol dependence are inconclusive (Shalloo, 1941; Walters, 1957). (For research focusing on religiosity in mental and physical health, see Koenig et al. (2012) and in gaming disorder, see Braun et al. (2016).) Recently, the religiosity/spirituality section of the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN) has published a position paper ‘Recommendation for Dealing with Religiosity/Spirituality in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy’ (Utsch et al., 2017). This review of the literature finds that the correlation between power of faith and therapeutic effects is modulated by other mechanisms such as psychological or neurobiological. In this study of religiosity and related psychological traits of guilt, altruism and forgiveness, we compare alcohol-dependent patients and healthy controls. Secondly we investigated the parameters' potential in predicting alcohol-related hospital readmission following in-patient withdrawal treatment for alcoholism. METHODS Study cohort This project on religious denomination, religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness was part of the bicentric, cross-sectional, and longitudinal Neurobiology of Alcoholism (NOAH) study. In total, we recruited 200 alcohol-dependent patients who were admitted as in-patients for withdrawal treatment and 240 healthy controls, recruited from the south German region of Franconia via local and online advertisements as well as via flyers. Patients met criteria for alcohol dependence according to the ICD-10 (WHO, 1992) and/or for alcohol use disorder according to the DSM-5 (APA, 2013). Further details on the study design may be drawn from Lenz et al. (2017) and from Weinland et al. (2017). We followed the patients for 24 months after study inclusion. The number of alcohol-related hospital readmissions and the days to first readmission were extracted from the electronic patients’ records. In case of no alcohol-related readmission during the follow-up according to the patients' records, we set the days to first readmission to 730 days. The study was conducted according to the ethical principles of the World Medical Association (sixth revision of the Declaration of Helsinki, Seoul 2008) and the International Conference on Harmonization Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (1996). It was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (NOAH study ID 81_12 B). All participants provided written informed consent prior to inclusion. Employed questionnaires For detecting the religious and psychological dimensions of interest, we applied six well-evaluated questionnaires: Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS; Huber and Huber, 2012). The scale was applied to measure the centrality as the importance or salience of religious meanings in personality. It quantifies the general intensities of the following five theoretically defined core dimensions which together can be considered as representative of individual religiosity. Public practice items: How often do you take part in religious services? How important is it to take part in religious services? How important is it for you to be connected to a religious community? Private practice items: How often do you pray? How often do you meditate? How important is personal prayer for you? How important is meditation for you? How often do you pray spontaneously when inspired by daily situations? How often do you try to connect to the divine spontaneously when inspired by daily situations? Religious experience items: How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that God or something divine intervenes in your life? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that you are in one with all? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that God or something divine wants to communicate or to reveal something to you? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that you are touched by a divine power? How often do you experience situations in which you have the feeling that God or something divine is present? Ideology items: To what extent do you believe that God or something divine exists? To what extent do you believe in an afterlife, e.g. immortality of the soul, resurrection of the dead or reincarnation? In your opinion, how probable is it that a higher power really exists? Intellect items: How often do you think about religious issues? How interested are you in learning more about religious topics? How often do you keep yourself informed about religious questions through radio, television, Internet, newspapers or books? Brief Instrument (BI). The questionnaire was employed to detect ‘religious affiliation’ and ‘well-being’ (Mehnert and Koch, 2001). It represents a compendium of the Spiritual Experience Index (Genia, 1991), the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (Paloutzian/Ellison, 1982) and the Religious Problem Solving Scale (Pargament et al., 1988). Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being (MIRSB, Unterrainer et al., 2010; MIRSB-E, Unterrainer et al., 2012). The inventory allows quantification of the following scales. General religiosity items: My faith gives me a feeling of security. It is possible for me to find contentment in intimate conversations with God. I will be able to overcome all problems with God’s help. In certain moments in my life, I feel very close to God. With God’s help, I will be happy once again. I know that God is merciful. I enjoy attending to religious community events. I feel the presence of God in nature. Forgiveness items: There are things which I cannot forgive. There are people whom I hate. There are people whom I will never be able to forgive. There are things which people should not forgive. If somebody hurts me, I usually try to get revenge. The thought of seeing my enemies suffer satisfies me. There are people who deserve to be treated badly. I have forgiven those people who have hurt me. Hope immanent items: I view the future with optimism. I think that things will improve in the future. I think my life is moving in the right direction. I think that I will have more positive than negative experiences in the future. I think that I will live my life in the future just as I envisage it. I have a precise picture of what my future should be like. The future seems to be extremely uncertain. I believe that the future holds exciting challenges for me. Connectedness items: I have experienced the feeling of being absorbed into something greater. I believe that I will be reborn after my death. There are people with whom I feel a supernatural connection. I have had experiences through which I have realized that nothing ever dies. I believe in further existence after death. I have experienced things which I cannot express in words. I have experienced things which radiate a special kind of energy. I believe that I will have experiences in the future to which very few people have access. Hope transcendent items: I often think about the fact that I will have to leave my loved ones behind. I would do anything to prolong the lives of those I love. It is hard for me to think that my loved ones will one day no longer live. I am terrified of being forgotten after my death. I would do anything to prolong my life. I am scared about what will happen to me after my death. All hope ends with death. I fear being made accountable for the things I have done wrong after my death. Experience of sense and meaning items: I have experienced true (authentic) feelings. I have experienced deep affection. I have experienced true friendship. I have often experienced openness and honesty. I have experienced things which I want to experience again and again. I have often had experiences which have deeply affected me. In my experience, it is possible for me to become so involved in something that I forget everything around me. I have had one or more experiences in which the meaning of life became clear to me. Interpersonal Guilt questionnaire (IGQ; O’Connor et al., 1997; German short version; Albani et al., 2002a, b). The questionnaire allows distinguishing the subscales Separation Guilt, Survivor Guilt and Organized Guilt as components of Interpersonal Guilt (=sum score). Altruism (=acting for the welfare of others) as a component of the life goals questionnaire GOALS (Pöhlmann and Brunstein, 1997; Pöhlmann et al., 2010). Importance: How important is it for you to reach this goal in your lifetime? Attainability: How good do you think your chances are to reach this goal in your lifetime? Success: How successful are you currently in attaining this goal? For detecting the level of forgiveness in patients and controls, we used the scale on willingness to forgive (‘Skala der Bereitschaft zu Verzeihen’ [SBV], Allemand et al., 2008), which allows distinguishing the willingness to pardon as a function depending on the degree of regret on the part of the transgressor. Statistical analysis Sum scores of questionnaire items for all sub- and sum-scales were calculated and are presented as median and interquartile range (IQR) in the text and the tables. We used χ2 tests for nominal variables and Mann–Whitney U tests for continuous variables to compare alcohol-dependent patients with healthy control subjects. Correlations were calculated with Spearman’s rank correlation method. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to estimate the internal consistency reliability. Questionnaire datasets with missing values were excluded. In a first step, we analyzed the total sample. Because of the well-known sex differences in alcohol dependence (Lenz et al., 2012; WHO, 2014) the NOAH study was balanced with regard to gender. That enabled us to subsequently conduct analyses separately for men and women. The P values < 0.05 for two-sided tests were considered to be statistically significant. We used IBM SPSS Statistics Version 21 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). RESULTS We here investigated 166 alcohol-dependent patients and 240 healthy control subjects (for sociodemographic characteristics, see Table 1) because 34 patients discontinued study participation prematurely and were excluded if they failed to complete at least one of the questionnaires. Table 1. Sociodemographic characteristics Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Median (interquartile range) and absolute as well as relative frequencies; missing values <10% for body mass index (BMI), months of employment (previous year), smoking status, German version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score, age at onset of alcohol dependence, < 25% for previous withdrawal treatments, lifetime drinking, daily ethanol intake. aMann–Whitney U-test, bχ2 test. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 1. Sociodemographic characteristics Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 166) Healthy control subjects (n = 240) P Age (years) 48 (42–54) 48 (39–56) 0.893a Gender (n;♀/♂) 74/92 107/133 0.999b BMI (kg/m2) 24.7 (22.1–28.5) 26.5 (23.5–29.3) 0.004a Months of employment (previous year) 4 (0–12) 12 (5–12) <0.001a Active smoker (%) 77.4 20.4 <0.001b Active and ex-smoker (%) 88.0 54.2 <0.001b AUDIT score – 3 (2–5) Previous withdrawal treatments (n) 6 (2–12) – Age at onset of alcohol dependence (years) 32 (25–41) – Lifetime drinking (kg) 483 (270–1,195) – Daily ethanol intake (g/d since onset) 110 (60–240) – Median (interquartile range) and absolute as well as relative frequencies; missing values <10% for body mass index (BMI), months of employment (previous year), smoking status, German version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score, age at onset of alcohol dependence, < 25% for previous withdrawal treatments, lifetime drinking, daily ethanol intake. aMann–Whitney U-test, bχ2 test. P < 0.05 in bold. We tested whether belonging to a religious denomination is related to alcohol dependence and found an increased risk for alcohol dependence in the study subjects with a religious denomination in comparison to participants without a religious denomination; this effect was stronger in males than in females (χ2 = 6.0, df = 1, OR = 1.72, P = 0.014; patients (n): 43 without religious denomination, 58 Protestants, 54 Roman Catholics, 7 with another religious denomination, 4 with missing data; controls (n): 92 without religious denomination, 77 Protestants, 63 Roman Catholics, 8 with another religious denomination; females, χ2 = 1.8, df = 1, OR = 1.60, P = 0.179, males, χ2 = 4.5, df = 1, OR = 1.83, P = 0.035). The risk for an alcohol-related readmission during the 24-month follow-up did not significantly differ between patients with and patients without a religious denomination (χ2 = 0.5, df = 1, OR =1.32, P = 0.464; females, χ2 = 0.6, df = 1, OR =1.54, P = 0.447, males, χ2 = 0.3, df = 1, OR =1.29, P = 0.592). Afterwards, we investigated differences of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to forgive between patients and healthy controls subjects. The patients scored higher on the subscales of religious experiences (basic) (median(patients) 6 [IQR 3–9] vs. median(controls) 5 [IQR 3–8], U = 16,467, P = 0.041), private practice (inter-religious) (6 [4–9] vs. 5 [3–7], U = 16,501, P = 0.046), connectedness (22 [15–30] vs. 19 [12–26], U = 13,233, P < 0.001) and experience of sense and meaning (38 [32–42] vs. 35 [31–39], U = 13,714, P = 0.003), survivor guilt (18 [13–24] vs. 11 [8–15], U = 8,659, P < 0.001), separation guilt (17 [12–22] vs. 14 [11–17], U = 12,773, P < 0.001), organized guilt (27 [23–30] vs. 24 [20–28], U = 12,883, P < 0.001), and the guilt sum score (61 [52–71] vs. 50 [43–58], U = 9,488, P < 0.001). They scored lower on well-being (42 [36–49] vs. 50 [44–56], U = 10,080, P < 0.001), forgiveness (32 [24–40] vs. 37 [31–42], U = 13,055, P < 0.001), hope immanent (33 [27–40] vs. 38 [33–42], U = 12,282, P < 0.001), hope transcendent (31 [26–36] vs. 37 [31–41], U = 10,053, P < 0.001), the MIRSB sum score (175 [155–194] vs. 179 [164–205], U = 14,595, P = 0.031), attainability (15 [12–17] vs. 16 [13–18], U = 16,677, P = 0.015) and on success of altruism (13 [10–16] vs. 14 [12–16], U = 16,344, P = 0.006). There were no significant group differences for the following subscales: intellect (basic) (5 [4–8] vs. 6 [5–8], U = 17,180, P = 0.173), ideology (basic) (8 [5–11] vs. 8 [5–12], U = 18,216, P = 0.673), public practice (basic) (5 [3–7] vs. 5 [3–7], U = 18,333, P = 0.747), private practice (basic) (6 [3–11] vs. 6 [3–9], U = 17,309, P = 0.206), religious experiences (inter-religious) (5 [4–8] vs. 5 [3–7], U = 17,814, P = 0.428), religious affiliation (19 [13–32] vs. 19 [12–32], U = 16,433, P = 0.567), general religiosity (19 [8–32] vs. 18 [9–31], U = 16,457, P = 0.739), importance of altruism (16 [13–19] vs. 16 [14–18], U = 19,158, P = 0.804), and willingness to pardon without regret (8 [6–11] vs. 9 [7–11], U = 17,550, P = 0.143) or with regret (13 [11–16] vs. 14 [11–16], U = 17,867, P = 0.238). The gender-specific results are shown in Table 2. Table 2. Gender-specific differences of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (= sum of subitems). #Number of questionnaire items for scale calculation. aMann–Whitney U-test. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 2. Gender-specific differences of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 N (items)# Cronbach’s alpha Females Males Patients Controls Patients Controls Median (IQR) U Pa Median (IQR) U Pa Centrality of religiosity scale n = 68 n = 107 n = 89 n = 131  Intellect (basic) 3 0.883 6 (4–8) 6 (5–9) 3,259 0.242 5 (4–8) 6 (5–8) 5,498 0.471  Ideology (basic) 3 0.903 9 (6–12) 9 (5–12) 3,440 0.542 7 (4–11) 7 (4–10) 5,748 0.859  Public practice (basic) 3 0.904 5 (4–7) 5 (3–8) 3,562 0.812 4 (3–7) 5 (3–6) 5,765 0.885  Private practice (basic) 3 0.946 6 (4–12) 7 (3–11) 3,387 0.438 6 (3–10) 5 (3–8) 5,425 0.366  Religious experiences (basic) 3 0.933 6 (4–9) 6 (3–9) 3,275 0.261 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 5,076 0.091  Private practice (inter-religious) 3 0.770 6 (4–8) 5 (3–9) 3,500 0.670 5 (3–9) 4 (3–7) 4,809 0.025  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 3 0.812 5 (4–8) 6 (4–8) 3,557 0.801 5 (3–9) 5 (3–7) 5,260 0.210 Religiousness and well-being n = 67 n = 95 n = 85 n = 129  Religious affiliation 10 0.930 19 (14–31) 25 (12–35) 3,049 0.649 17 (12–34) 17 (13–28) 5,082 0.365  Well-being 11 0.780 43 (38–51) 53 (47–58) 1,645 <0.001 42 (35–47) 49 (41–54) 3,454 <0.001 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 67 n = 96 n = 85 n = 125  General religiosity 8 0.945 19 (10–35) 24 (13–37) 2,922 0.320 17 (8–31) 16 (9–26) 5,164 0.728  Forgiveness 8 0.828 35 (26–42) 39 (34–43) 2,524 0.019 31 (24–38) 34 (29–41) 4,140 0.007  Hope immanent 8 0.868 35 (27–40) 39 (33–43) 2,453 0.010 32 (26–39) 37 (33–42) 3,715 <0.001  Connectedness 8 0.827 24 (17–30) 21 (13–29) 2,721 0.095 21 (14–30) 17 (12–24) 4,021 0.003  Hope transcendent 8 0.722 32 (25–37) 37 (30–41) 2,246 0.001 30 (27–35) 37 (33–41) 2,712 <0.001  Experience of sense and meaning 8 0.722 38 (31–43) 36 (32–40) 2,822 0.183 37 (32–42) 34 (29–38) 4,058 0.004  Sum score 48 0.865 182 (164–196) 191 (169–216) 2,611 0.041 173 (151–192) 174 (162–193) 4,713 0.165 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 68 n = 102 n = 86 n = 129  Survivor guilt 7 0.851 18 (12–23) 12 (8–15) 1,838 <0.001 18 (14–24) 11 (8–16) 2,534 <0.001  Separation guilt 7 0.790 15 (11–21) 13 (10–17) 2,588 0.005 19 (13–22) 15 (12–18) 3,831 <0.001  Organized guilt 7 0.768 28 (23–32) 25 (22–30) 2,644 0.009 27 (23–29) 23 (19–26) 3,744 <0.001  Sum score 21 0.877 60 (51–72) 51 (43–59) 2,069 <0.001 62 (54–71) 49 (43–58) 2,709 <0.001 Altruism n = 71 n = 107 n = 91 n = 133  Importance 4 0.830 17 (14–19) 16 (14–19) 3,648 0.652 16 (13–18) 16 (14–17) 5,988 0.892  Attainability 4 0.833 16 (14–17) 16 (14–18) 3,529 0.418 14 (12–16) 16 (13–18) 4,875 0.013  Success 4 0.842 13 (10–16) 14 (12–16) 3,041 0.023 12 (9–16) 13 (12–16) 5,291 0.108 Willingness to pardon n = 70 n = 107 n = 90 n = 133  Without regret 4 0.789 8 (6–10) 8 (6–11) 3,459 0.388 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 5,414 0.224  With regret 4 0.852 12 (11–15) 13 (10–16) 3,455 0.382 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 5,655 0.483 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (= sum of subitems). #Number of questionnaire items for scale calculation. aMann–Whitney U-test. P < 0.05 in bold. We analyzed whether religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness predicted alcohol-related readmission following in-patient alcohol withdrawal treatment (Table 3). Patients with alcohol-related readmission scored higher on the private practice (basic and inter-religious), and the religious experiences (inter-religious) subscales. Higher private practice (inter-religious) also correlated with more alcohol-related readmissions during the follow-up and fewer days to first alcohol-related readmission. The patients with alcohol-related readmission scored higher on the religious affiliation subscale and higher scores predicted more alcohol-related readmissions and fewer days to first readmission. Moreover, we found lower attainability of altruism in patients with alcohol-related readmission and lower scores also predicted more alcohol-related readmissions and fewer days to first readmission. Table 3. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism, and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 3. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism, and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 Total cohort Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 94 n = 63  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 2,548 0.136 0.106 0.186 −0.101 0.206  Ideology (basic) 9 (5–11) 6 (3–11) 2,455 0.068 0.111 0.166 −0.107 0.183  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–7) 2,657 0.265 0.070 0.387 −0.054 0.503  Private practice (basic) 7 (3–11) 5 (3–10) 2,396 0.040 0.089 0.266 −0.101 0.209  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 5 (3–8) 2,452 0.064 0.107 0.184 −0.089 0.270  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (4–9) 5 (3–7) 2,237 0.009 0.207 0.009 −0.184 0.021  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–9) 4 (3–7) 2,366 0.031 0.123 0.126 −0.125 0.120 Religiousness and well-being n = 94 n = 58  Religious affiliation 22 (15–36) 15 (11–29) 1,991 0.005 0.189 0.020 −0.214 0.008  Well-being 42 (35–48) 44 (37–50) 2,474 0.339 −0.092 0.262 0.064 0.432 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 91 n = 61  General religiosity 23 (10–34) 14 (8–32) 2,317 0.082 0.087 0.289 −0.105 0.196  Forgiveness 31 (23–41) 33 (26–40) 2,467 0.246 −0.112 0.168 0.109 0.180  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 36 (28–42) 2,343 0.104 −0.093 0.255 0.125 0.125  Connectedness 23 (16–30) 21 (13–31) 2,422 0.183 0.109 0.181 −0.131 0.107  Hope transcendent 31 (27–36) 32 (25–39) 2,697 0.766 0.017 0.832 0.008 0.923  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (31–42) 37 (32–43) 2,670 0.690 0.031 0.707 0.012 0.880  Sum score 178 (155–195) 174 (156–194) 2,722 0.839 0.021 0.795 −0.022 0.791 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 90 n = 64  Survivor guilt 18 (13–24) 17 (13–24) 2,690 0.486 0.043 0.597 −0.061 0.454  Separation guilt 18 (13–23) 16 (12–21) 2,461 0.124 0.042 0.607 −0.075 0.358  Organized guilt 27 (23–30) 27 (23–31) 2,799 0.766 −0.007 0.933 −0.002 0.982  Sum score 61 (54–73) 60 (50–69) 2,560 0.240 0.050 0.537 −0.071 0.379 Altruism n = 98 n = 64  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 2,867 0.353 0.024 0.764 −0.021 0.787  Attainability 14 (12–16) 16 (14–17) 2,440 0.016 −0.223 0.004 0.231 0.003  Success 12 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,763 0.199 −0.111 0.161 0.097 0.219 Willingness to pardon n = 99 n = 61  Without regret 8 (6–11) 8 (6–11) 2,949 0.802 −0.094 0.239 0.109 0.172  With regret 13 (10–16) 13 (11–16) 2,820 0.482 −0.025 0.754 0.116 0.143 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. The gender-specific subgroup analyses revealed that private practice (inter-religious), hope immanent, attainability and success of altruism, and willingness to pardon with regret were predominantly predictive in female alcohol-dependent patients and religious experiences (inter-religious), religious affiliation, connectedness and attainability of altruism in male patients (Tables 4 and 5). Table 4. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in female patients Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 4. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in female patients Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 Female patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 35 n = 33  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 462 0.152 0.161 0.188 −0.177 0.148  Ideology (basic) 9 (6–12) 8 (5–12) 487 0.265 0.101 0.412 −0.093 0.452  Public practice (basic) 6 (4–7) 5 (3–7) 543 0.662 0.052 0.675 −0.065 0.597  Private practice (basic) 7 (5–12) 5 (4–11) 447 0.107 0.149 0.226 −0.144 0.242  Religious experiences (basic) 7 (5–9) 5 (4–10) 496 0.310 0.102 0.410 −0.091 0.463  Private practice (inter-religious) 7 (5–9) 5 (3–8) 420 0.051 0.275 0.023 −0.240 0.049  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 6 (4–7) 5 (4–8) 498 0.321 0.120 0.330 −0.124 0.316 Religiousness and well-being n = 36 n = 31  Religious affiliation 24 (16–35) 16 (11–31) 427 0.097 0.195 0.113 −0.197 0.110  Well-being 43 (37–52) 45 (38–51) 524 0.669 −0.044 0.722 0.014 0.912 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 34 n = 33  General religiosity 24 (12–36) 18 (8–34) 478 0.293 0.100 0.422 −0.121 0.330  Forgiveness 33 (22–43) 37 (30–42) 493 0.390 −0.092 0.460 0.132 0.286  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 37 (31–42) 396 0.038 −0.240 0.050 0.217 0.077  Connectedness 24 (17–28) 24 (18–32) 561 0.995 −0.005 0.971 −0.022 0.860  Hope transcendent 31 (26–36) 33 (25–40) 532 0.716 −0.004 0.977 0.053 0.669  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (30–42) 38 (32–44) 525 0.647 −0.012 0.924 0.023 0.853  Sum score 181 (156–195) 185 (169–200) 482 0.322 −0.106 0.395 0.105 0.397 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 34 n = 34  Survivor guilt 18 (13–25) 18 (11–22) 516 0.446 0.047 0.701 −0.121 0.326  Separation guilt 17 (13–23) 14 (11–20) 478 0.219 0.042 0.735 −0.103 0.405  Organized guilt 28 (22–32) 28 (23–32) 573 0.946 −0.041 0.743 −0.060 0.628  Sum score 60 (51–79) 59 (49–69) 513 0.422 0.030 0.809 −0.114 0.354 Altruism n = 37 n = 34  Importance 18 (15–19) 16 (14–20) 591 0.658 −0.019 0.875 −0.048 0.690  Attainability 15 (12–17) 16 (15–19) 442 0.030 −0.278 0.019 0.220 0.066  Success 12 (10–16) 15 (12–17) 454 0.043 −0.255 0.032 0.220 0.066 Willingness to pardon n = 37 n = 33  Without regret 8 (5–11) 7 (6–11) 599 0.887 −0.063 0.606 0.053 0.665  With regret 12 (10–14) 13 (11–16) 481 0.126 −0.188 0.119 0.246 0.040 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 5. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in male patients Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. Table 5. Associations of religiosity, guilt, altruism and willingness to pardon with 24-month alcohol-related readmissions in male patients Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 Male patients Alcohol-related readmission Number of readmissions Days to first readmission Yes No Median (IQR) U Pa Rho Pb Rho Pb Centrality of religiosity scale n = 59 n = 30  Intellect (basic) 6 (4–9) 5 (4–8) 788 0.392 0.079 0.459 −0.062 0.565  Ideology (basic) 8 (4–11) 5 (3–9) 678 0.070 0.156 0.144 −0.154 0.149  Public practice (basic) 5 (3–7) 4 (3–6) 729 0.162 0.104 0.333 −0.061 0.567  Private practice (basic) 6 (3–11) 4 (3–8) 681 0.067 0.095 0.375 −0.120 0.261  Religious experiences (basic) 6 (3–9) 4 (3–6) 677 0.062 0.135 0.207 −0.116 0.280  Private practice (inter-religious) 6 (4–10) 5 (3–6) 671 0.059 0.170 0.112 −0.144 0.177  Religious experiences (inter-religious) 5 (4–9) 4 (3–6) 622 0.020 0.143 0.182 −0.153 0.153 Religiousness and well-being n = 58 n = 27  Religious affiliation 21 (14–36) 14 (11–23) 539 0.021 0.180 0.100 −0.235 0.030  Well-being 42 (35–47) 43 (36–49) 734 0.643 −0.091 0.410 0.074 0.503 Multidimensional inventory for religious/spiritual well-being n = 57 n = 28  General religiosity 22 (9–32) 10 (8–25) 612 0.077 0.103 0.350 −0.128 0.244  Forgiveness 30 (23–37) 32 (24–38) 774 0.822 −0.081 0.461 0.036 0.746  Hope immanent 31 (27–39) 32 (25–40) 797 0.989 0.046 0.673 0.028 0.802  Connectedness 22 (16–31) 16 (12–26) 586 0.047 0.206 0.058 −0.238 0.028  Hope transcendent 30 (28–35) 31 (25–36) 795 0.974 0.048 0.660 −0.035 0.748  Experience of sense and meaning 38 (32–42) 37 (32–43) 790 0.940 0.066 0.549 −0.012 0.915  Sum score 174 (155–194) 163 (146–178) 619 0.093 0.159 0.147 −0.160 0.145 Interpersonal guilt questionnaire n = 56 n = 30  Survivor guilt 19 (14–23) 17 (14–24) 806 0.758 0.061 0.579 −0.016 0.881  Separation guilt 19 (13–23) 18 (12–21) 759 0.460 0.034 0.758 −0.023 0.832  Organized guilt 27 (23–29) 25 (22–29) 748 0.403 0.075 0.490 0.005 0.967  Sum score 62 (55–72) 61 (51–69) 767 0.505 0.059 0.592 −0.013 0.906 Altruism n = 61 n = 30  Importance 16 (13–19) 16 (13–17) 772 0.222 0.100 0.344 −0.029 0.787  Attainability 13 (12–16) 15 (12–17) 819 0.414 −0.142 0.178 0.212 0.044  Success 13 (10–16) 12 (9–15) 870 0.703 0.018 0.866 −0.009 0.936 Willingness to pardon n = 62 n = 28  Without regret 8 (6–11) 9 (7–11) 817 0.652 −0.153 0.150 0.183 0.083  With regret 14 (11–16) 14 (11–16) 851 0.882 0.052 0.628 0.062 0.565 The table shows median and interquartile range (IQR) of the questionnaire scores (=sum of subitems). aMann–Whitney U-test, bSpearman correlation. P < 0.05 in bold. DISCUSSION To the authors’ knowledge, the study reported here is the first to gender-specifically compare religious denomination, religiosity, guilt, altruism and forgiveness between alcohol-dependent patients and age as well as sex-matched healthy control subjects and to evaluate their predictive potential for alcohol-related readmission following in-patient withdrawal treatment. We found an association between likelihood of being in the patient sample and acknowledging a religious denomination. By contrast, Hodge et al. (2001) reported that spiritual or religious involvement in south west USA was associated with decreased risk of alcohol or drug abuse, problems, and dependence. Similarly, Michalak et al. (2007) found in their examination of the data from the US National Alcohol Survey that religious affiliation was associated with abstinence from alcohol use. However, in the USA religion might relate differently to alcohol behaviors, because denominations which prohibit alcohol (e.g. Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Muslims) are more frequent there than in our European Franconian sample. Most of our study subjects were Catholics or Protestants and might thus be more accustomed to ritual incorporation of alcohol in form of wine due to their religious background. As suggested by Haber et al. (2011), personality profiles strongly influence the relationship between alcohol dependence and religion. This may also account for inconsistencies between different studies. Our finding that religious affiliation is positively related to attitude towards alcohol is in accordance with Walters’ findings (1957) of a transgenerational effect. In 50 alcohol-dependent patients of a Midwest Veterans Administration Hospital, he found that parents of alcohol-dependent individuals were more likely to be church members than parents of control subjects. To provide additional supporting evidence for our result of religiosity being relevant to alcohol dependence, we analyzed associations of religiosity with alcohol-related hospital readmission during the 24-month follow-up. Interestingly, higher private practice was not only associated with alcohol dependence per se; we found also that higher private practice and higher religious affiliation predicted a shortened interval to first alcohol-related readmission as well as more frequent readmissions. In summary, religious denomination and religiosity are related to increased risk for alcohol dependence and a worse 24-month outcome in our cohort. Identifying underlying mechanisms was beyond the scope of this study. Nevertheless, we speculate that life burden and chronic illnesses motivate people to ask about the sense of life and other existential items. An answer to these fundamental questions can be found in a religious world outlook. This aspect could contribute to the association between religiosity and alcohol dependence as well as religiosity and worse outcome, as shown in our study. Moreover, Dutton and van der Linden (2017) discuss that intelligence is negatively associated with religiousness. That might stimulate the hypothesis that premorbid intelligence is negatively related to developing alcohol dependence. However, further studies are needed to illuminate the concrete underpinnings. We measured higher scores on religious experiences, connectedness, experience of sense and meaning, and guilt in the patients’ cohort in comparison to the healthy controls. The significantly higher scores in patients’ connectedness might be confounded by repetitive inebriation experiences. This bias has been well-known for millenia: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5: 18 in: Witkiewitz et al., 2016). Accordingly, we speculate that the higher scores on the scale of experience of sense and meaning in alcohol-dependent patients are also a consequence of frequent inebriation experiences. The alcohol-dependent patients’ higher scores on the scales for interpersonal guilt are understandable. An individual might decide to engage in alcohol misuse to deal with guilt or shame and vice versa the pathological alcohol consumption might also cause a feeling of guilt (Ianni et al., 2010, Webb et al., 2006). Self-blame as a maladaptive coping strategy has been associated with a worse outcome in alcohol-dependent patients (Tapert et al., 2004). Whether the feeling of guilt is a cause or consequence of alcohol dependence remains to be shown; however, our data suggest that it might be a relevant psychotherapeutic target to prevent and to deal with alcohol dependence. In comparison to healthy control subjects, patients scored lower on well-being (BI), forgiveness, and immanent and transcendent hope (MIRSB) suggesting that these factors might be protective against alcohol dependence. The lowered patients’ levels of forgiveness perhaps reflect a wish for revenge. At this point, one might hypothesize, that patients have less tendency of self-forgiving, which would be in line with the increased feelings of guilt discussed above because forgiveness of self has been evaluated as a strategy for coping with feelings of guilt and shame (Hall and Finchman, 2005). Thus, forgiveness as a specific dimension of religiousness should be tested as an element to enhance recovery. However, its operating mechanisms in general are unknown (Webb et al., 2011). Interestingly, we found no significant difference between alcohol-dependent patients and healthy control subjects with regard to the SBV forgiveness scales. The MIRSB and SBV questionnaires differ in that the MIRSB forgiveness scale is surveyed in a quite general and abstract way, whereas the SBV uses concrete exemplifications to explore the willingness to forgive. Moreover, the SBV differentiates between the willingness to pardon without and with regret. The lack of a group difference on the SBV scales agrees with results showing that forgiveness did not predict alcohol dependence outcomes (Webb et al., 2011; Langman and Chung, 2013). The sex-balanced cohort which enabled analysis of gender-specific effects of religiosity on alcohol dependence is a strength of our study. However, the gender differences shown in the tables should not be over-interpreted and need validation in future studies. The Franconian region, where the study was conducted, is mainly inhabited by Protestants. This reduces the generalizability of the study findings and is a relevant limitation. Moreover, we cannot exclude that some of the findings classified as significant represent false positives. According to the explorative study design, our data have not been corrected for multiple testing and need to be confirmed in future investigations. CONCLUSION As far as we know, this study shows for the first time an increased risk for alcohol dependence and a worse outcome in study subjects with a religious denomination, more private religious practice, religious affiliation, guilt and reduced attainability of altruism. Further research is needed to analyze the role of the personality within the trio of alcohol dependence, religiosity and personality and to develop differentiated strategies to enhance the positive components of religiosity on alcohol dependence. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Dr. Andreas Ahnert, Ute Hamers and Dr. Kristina Bayerlein for the opportunity and the support to recruit patients at the Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik of the Klinikum am Europakanal Erlangen. We gratefully appreciate the support of Juliane Behrens, Sarah Kubis, Katrin Mikolaiczik, Sarah Saigali, Marina Sibach, and Petya Tanovska in recruiting patients and healthy control subjects. We recognize Prof. Dr. Teresa Biermann for inspirational support concerning the topic of religiosity/spirituality. We express our gratitude to Prof. Dr. Jonathan D. Chick for revisional hints. CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. AUTHORS’ CONTRIBUTION Conceived and designed the experiments: B.B., C.W., J.K., B.L. Performed the experiments: B.B., C.W., B.L. Analyzed the data and wrote the article: B.B., B.L. Commented on the article and provided intellectual input: J.K. REFERENCES Albani C , Blaser G , Körner A , et al. . ( 2002 a) Der “Fragebogen zu interpersonellen Schuldgefühlen” (FIS)- Anwendung in einer repräsentativen Bevölkerungsstichprobe und bei PsychotherapiepatientInnen . Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 52 : 189 – 97 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Albani C , Blaser G , Körner A , et al. . ( 2002 b) The German short version of the interpersonal guilt questionnaire- validation in a population-based sample and clinical application . Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 52 : 189 – 97 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Allemand M , Sassing-Meng A , Huber S , et al. . ( 2008 ) Entwicklung und Validierung einer Skala der Bereitschaft zu verzeihen (Sbv) . Diagnostica 54 : 71 – 84 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS American Psychiatric Association . ( 2013 ) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , 5th edn . Washington, DC i.a. : American Psychiatric Publisher . Braun B , Kornhuber J , Lenz B , et al. . ( 2016 ) Gaming and religion: the impact of spirituality and denomination . J Relig Health 55 : 1464 – 71 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Drerup ML , Johnson TJ , Bindl S . ( 2011 ) Mediators of the relationship between religiousness/spirituality and alcohol problems in an adult community sample . Addict Behav 36 : 1317 – 20 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Dutton E , van der Linden D . ( 2017 ) Why is intelligence negatively associated with religiousness? Evol Psychol Sci 3 : 392 – 403 . doi:10.1007/s40806-017-0101-0 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Genia V . ( 1991 ) The spiritual experience index: a measure of spiritual maturity . J Relig Health 30 : 337 – 45 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Haber JR , Koenig LB , Jacob T . ( 2011 ) Alcoholism, personality and religion/spirituality: an integrative review . Curr Drug Abuse Rev 4 : 250 – 60 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Hall JH , Fincham FD . ( 2005 ) Self-forgiveness: the stepchild of forgiveness research . J Soc Clin Psychol 24 : 621 – 37 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Hodge LC , Cardenas P , Montoya H . ( 2001 ) Substance use: spirituality and religious participation factors among rural youths . Soc Work Res 25 : 153 – 61 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Huber S , Huber OW . ( 2012 ) The centrality of religiosity scale (CRS) . Religions 3 : 710 – 24 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Ianni P , Hibard S , Kenneth EH , et al. . ( 2010 ) The association between self-forgiveness and alcohol misuse depends on the severity of drinker's shame: toward a buffering model . Addict Disord Their Treat 9 : 106 – 11 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Koenig HG , King DE , Carson VB . ( 2012 ) Handbook of Religion and Health . New York : Oxford University Press . Langman L , Chung MC . ( 2013 ) The relationship between forgiveness, spirituality, traumatic guilt and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among people with addictions . Psychiatr Q 84 : 11 – 26 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Lenz B , Mühle C , Braun B , et al. . ( 2017 ) Prenatal and adult androgen activities in alcohol dependence . Acta Psychiatr Scand 136 : 96 – 107 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Lenz B , Müller CP , Stoessel C , et al. . ( 2012 ) Sex hormone activity in alcohol addiction: integrating organizational and activational effects . Prog Neurobiol 96 : 136 – 63 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Mehnert A , Koch U . ( 2001 ) Religiosität und psychische Befindlichkeit-Überprüfung von Instrumenten zur Erfassung von Religiosität . Z Med Psych (10) 171 – 82 . Michalak L , Trocki K , Bond J . ( 2007 ) Religion and alcohol in the U.S. National Alcohol Survey: how important is religion for abstention and drinking? Drug Alcohol Depend 16 : 268 – 80 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS O’Connor LE , Berry JW , Weiss J , et al. . ( 1997 ) Interpersonal guilt: the development of a new measurement . J Clin Psychol 53 : 73 – 89 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Paloutzian RF , Ellison CW . ( 1982 ) Loneliness, spiritual well-being, and quality of life. In Peplau LA , Perlman D (eds) . Loneliness: A Sourcebook of Current Theory, Research and Therapy . New York : John Wiley & Sons , 224 – 37 . Pargament KI , Kenneth J , Hathaway W , et al. . ( 1988 ) Religion and the problem-solving process: three styles of coping . J Sci Stud Relig 27 : 90 – 104 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Piderman KM , Schneekloth TD , Pankratz VS , et al. . ( 2007 ) Spirituality in alcoholics during treatment . Am J Addict 16 : 232 – 7 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Pöhlmann K , Brunstein JC . ( 1997 ) GOALS: Ein Fragebogen zur Messung von Lebenszielen . Diagnostica 43 : 63 – 79 . Pöhlmann K , Brunstein JC , Koch R , et al. . ( 2010 ) Der Lebenszielfragebogen GOALS: Befunde zur internen und externen Validität auf der Basis einer repräsentativen Bevölkerungsstichprobe und einer klinischen Stichprobe . Z Med Psychol 19 : 70 – 80 . Rice OR . ( 1941 ) Religion and the church in relation to alcohol addiction I. Religious ressources in the treatment of alcohol addiction . J Stud Alcohol 3 : 393 – 9 . Seliger RV . ( 1947 ) Religious and similar experiences and revelations in patients with alcohol problems . JEP 8 : 727 – 31 . Shalloo JP . ( 1941 ) Some cultural factors in the etiology of alcoholism . Q J Stud Alcohol 2 : 464 – 78 . Tapert SF , Ozyurt SS , Myers MG , et al. . ( 2004 ) Neurocognitive ability in adults coping with alcohol and drug relapse temptations . AJDAA 30 : 445 – 60 . Unterrainer H-F , Huber H-P , Ladenhauf KH , et al. . ( 2010 ) MI-RSB 48. Die Entwicklung eines multidimensionalen Inventars zum religiös-spirituellen Befinden . Diagnostica 56 : 82 – 93 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Unterrainer H-F , Nelson O , Collicutt J , et al. . ( 2012 ) The English version of the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being (MI-RSB-E): first results from British students . Religions 3 : 588 – 99 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Utsch M , Anderssen-Reuster U , Frick E , et al. . ( 2017 ) Empfehlungen zum Umgang mit Religiosität und Spiritualität in Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie . Spir Care 6 : 141 – 6 . Walters OS . ( 1957 ) The religious background of fifty alcoholics . Q J Stud Alcohol 18 : 121 – 5 . Google Scholar PubMed Webb JR , Robinson EAR , Brower KJ , et al. . ( 2006 ) Forgiveness and alcohol problems among people entering substance abuse treatment . J Addict Dis 25 : 55 – 67 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Webb JR , Robinson EAR , Brower KJ . ( 2011 ) Mental health, not social support, mediates forgiveness-alcohol outcome relationship . Psychol Addict Behav 25 : 462 – 73 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Weinland C , Braun B , Mühle C , et al. . ( 2017 ) Cloninger type 2 score and Lesch typology predict hospital readmission of female and male alcohol-dependent inpatients during a 24–month follow-up . Alcohol Clin Exp Res 41 : 1760 – 7 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Witkiewitz K , McCallion E , Kirouac M . ( 2016 ) Religious affiliation and spiritual practices: an examination of the role of spirituality in alcohol use and alcohol use disorder . Alcohol Res 38 : 55 – 8 . Google Scholar PubMed World Health Organisation . ( 1992 ) International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems , 10th Revision (ICD-10), Geneva : World Health Organisation . World Health Organization . ( 2014 ) Global status report on alcohol and health. http://www.who.int/entity/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf (27 March 2018, date last accessed). © The Author(s) 2018. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)

Journal

Alcohol and AlcoholismOxford University Press

Published: Apr 18, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off