Introduction: Various disciplines describe hope generally as an essential aspect of being human from birth to death. Hope can take the form of longing and significantly motivate one to adopt a different path in life and it also might serve as part of one’s coping strategy in the therapy process. The study focus was on the concept of hope concerning the immanent and transcendent area of perception. Immanent and transcendent hope should be connected to different parameters of mental health and illness. In which way do addiction patients differ from healthy controls concerning various indicators of bio-psycho-socio-spiritual well-being? Is there a relevant relationship between “hope” and symptoms of “depression”, “suicidality”, “aggressiveness”, “anxiety” or the achievement of a “therapy goal”? Is it possible to find any relevant changes in the parameters of psychological well-being between the beginning of the treatment (the first measuring point) and six weeks later (the second measuring point)?
Method: The male sample of addicts (N=60) was divided into groups of alcoholics (N=20), polytoxicomanics (N=20) and patients with an additional comorbid psychiatric disorder (N=20). There also was a sample of students (N=20) for comparison. The following instruments were used: the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being (MI-RSWB 48), the Hopelessness-Scale (H-Scale), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a suicidality questionnaire (FBS), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and a questionnaire for factors of aggressiveness (FAF). Additionally an external criterion for the monitoring of therapeutic success was used to show differences between the groups.
Results: There were negative correlations found between “immanent hope” and “hopelessness”, “depressiveness”, “suicidality”, “self-aggression” and “anxiety”. In contrast positive correlations were measured between “hopelessness” and “depressiveness” In addition “suicidality” was shown to be in close relationship with “self-aggression” and “spontaneous aggression”. Religious-spiritual well-being was found to be negatively correlated with “hopelessness” but not with “depressiveness” and “suicidality”. Relevant differences between the groups showed up for the following parameters: “depressiveness”, “suicidality”, “self-aggression”, “spontaneous aggression” and “anxiety”, but there were no differences in “immanent hope”, “transcendent hope” and “hopelessness”. Addicts showed a higher amount of “depressiveness” and “self aggression” as well as “suicidality” and “anxiety” when compared to healthy controls. There were no changes found concerning the main variables