Wellness Checkup: Spirituality | Medicine in 2 Minutes

Patients may demonstrate a high level of acceptability to discuss spirituality in health care

1. In this study, almost all the patients approved of the proposed anamnesis by taking indications related to the patient’s spirituality, and the level of acceptability of the patients was high.

2. Additionally, conversation prompts that had no religious overtones and focused on individual values ​​were most effective in raising spiritual concerns.

Level of evidence assessment: 2 (good)

Spirituality is well documented to provide several health benefits, which has led to its incorporation into healthcare institutions. In Australia, however, there has been little evidence regarding the preferred way of engaging in spiritual discussions and spiritual story-taking, which has prevented it from being common practice. Therefore, the objective of the present cross-sectional mixed-methods study was to identify the preferred wording for discussing spirituality in the hospital setting, and patient demographics in relation to their preferences regarding spiritual history.

Participants were identified and recruited from 6 hospitals in Sydney, Australia, and were asked to participate in a survey and qualitative interview to explain survey responses. The survey included demographic information and questions about spirituality. 897 participants completed the survey (n = 422 women) and 41 were interviewed. Quantitative data were analyzed using Fischer’s Exact and Crammer’s V tests. Qualitative data were coded using theoretical thematic analysis.

The results demonstrated that almost all patients approved of the proposed history prompts and that the level of patient acceptability was high. Additionally, conversation prompts that lacked religious overtones and focused on individual values ​​were most effective in raising spiritual concerns. Despite these findings, the study was limited by the exclusion of critically ill patients who may have different spiritual needs. Nonetheless, this study demonstrated that most patients were happy to be asked about spirituality by clinical staff, and that individual values-based conversation prompts were most effective in discussing spiritual concerns.

Promoting spiritual health can improve the happiness scores of medical students in Iran

1. In this study, the relationship between spiritual health and happiness was significant among medical students in Iran.

2. Additionally, student happiness scores were not optimal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Level of evidence assessment: 3 (Average)

Studies have shown that spiritual health plays a vital role in promoting a satisfying quality of life through several means, including reducing mental distress. Compared to students in other fields, medical students face increasing mental health issues. While continuous solutions are sought to address this issue, the objective of the present descriptive-analytical study was to investigate the relationship between spiritual health and happiness among medical students, specifically during the COVID-19 outbreak. 19.

The study included 409 medical students (71.3% female, mean age 21.6 years) using a multistage random sampling method from Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Students were included if they had completed at least 6 months in medical school. Students were excluded if they had a history of mental illness or had experienced a serious personal tragedy in the previous month. 3 questionnaires were administered: a demographic questionnaire, the Ellison Spiritual Health Questionnaire and the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. Qualitative variables were measured using the one-sample t-test, analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation. Quantitative data were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient.

The results of the study demonstrated that the relationship between spiritual health and happiness was significant among medical students. However, students’ happiness scores were not optimal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these findings, the present study was limited by the lack of a native tool based on Islamic beliefs to measure spiritual health, which may have impacted accuracy. Nevertheless, this study was important because it was one of the first to examine the relationship between spiritual health and happiness among medical students in COVID-19, which could help future health improvement plans for medical students. students.

Religion and spirituality can benefit the physical health of cancer patients

1. In this study, several religion and spirituality (R/S) variables (e.g., spiritual well-being, religious adjustment, self-rated R/S, etc.) showed a positive association with the physical health of cancer patients.

2. Additionally, this study found that occasionally R/S was negatively associated or unrelated to health.

Level of evidence assessment: 2 (good)

Oncological diseases continue to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. R/S has been shown in the literature to be beneficial for this patient population; however, a better understanding of the variables within R/S mediating these relationships has not been well established. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to synthesize the main R/S variables affecting the physical health of cancer patients and to synthesize the main findings from the literature.

Of 442 studies identified, 26 were included in the review from 2015 to March 2022. Studies were included if they investigated R/S variables on physical health (self-perceived or derived from biomarkers) of cancer patients and survivors. Studies were excluded if they only included mental health outcomes. The study was conducted using the PRISMA 2020 methodology. Quality was assessed using the McMaster critical review form for quantitative studies.

The results demonstrated that several religion and spirituality (R/S) variables (e.g., spiritual well-being, religious adjustment, self-rated R/S, etc.) displayed a positive association with the physical health of patients with cancer. Additionally, R/S was found to be sometimes negatively associated or unrelated to health. Despite these results, the study was limited by the design of most of the included studies being cross-sectional, which may impact causality inferences. However, the identification by study of R/S variables in the physical health of cancer patients allows a better understanding of this relationship, whether positive or negative.

Spirituality may improve outcomes in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder

1. In this study, spirituality significantly improved the individual’s ability to ruminate constructively, thereby promoting positive outcomes.

2. In addition, spirituality showed no relationship with the negative consequences of trauma (eg intrusive rumination).

Level of evidence assessment: 3 (Average)

In the literature, high levels of spirituality have been shown to be associated with lower levels of distress and can be seen as a source of support and guidance in the face of adversity. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of many distressing psychiatric disorders that can be mediated by positive psychological changes. To further assess the benefit of spirituality in PTSD, the aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the impact of spirituality in promoting adaptive outcomes following exposure to traumatic events (e.g., direct rumination, post-traumatic growth and intrusive rumination).

Of 241 participants who accessed the survey via internal advertisements on the University of Liverpool website, 96 (n=68.8% women) were included in the final analysis. Participants were included if they had experienced a type I traumatic life event after age 16. Participants who experienced a traumatic event in the past 4 months were excluded. The survey included participant demographics, the Post-Traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, the Event-Related Rumination Inventory, the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory – Short Form, and the revised expressions of spirituality inventory. Data were analyzed using moderation analysis and stepwise hierarchical regression analyses.

The results demonstrated that spirituality significantly improved an individual’s ability to ruminate constructively, thereby promoting positive outcomes. Additionally, spirituality showed no relationship to negative trauma outcomes (e.g., intrusive rumination). Despite these results, this study was limited because the researchers did not include type II trauma (which is more complex), thus limiting the generalizability of the results. Nonetheless, the study findings were significant in suggesting that spiritual beliefs may play an important role in mediating the consequences of traumatic events.

Picture: PD

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