The effect of spiritual–religious psychotherapy on enhancing quality of life and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression among the elderly

  • Mahboobeh Askari Department of Clinical Psychology, Azad University of Marvdasht, Marvdasht, Iran.
  • Hossein Mohammadi Students Research Committee, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Medical School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Hamed Radmehr Students Research Committee, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Medical School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Amir Hosein Jahangir Department of Clinical Psychology, Medical School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

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Background and Objective: Aging is associated with a variety of challenges and tensions which could possibly affect life quality of older people. This study was conducted to examine the effect of spiritual–religious psychotherapy on enhancing quality of life and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression among the elderly.

Method: The current study was a clinical trial including a treatment group which was exposed to spiritual-religious psychotherapy and a control group. A quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design was adopted in the study, with the participants being randomly assigned to either of the groups. More specifically, the sample of the study consisted of 40 (men= 29 and women= 11) old people who were selected through random sampling method. Half of them (n=20) were randomly assigned to the experimental group and the rest were assigned to the control group (n=20). Participants in the experimental group received treatment of spiritual–religious psychotherapy for 12 sessions (each 90 minutes). Data collection instruments included Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Short-Form health survey questionnaire (SF-36). The data were analyzed through utilizing descriptive and inferential (analysis of covariance/ANVOCA) procedures. All ethical issues were observed in the study and the authors declared no conflict of interests.

Results: The results showed that spiritual–religious psychotherapy has a significant effect on increasing life quality and reducing anxiety and depression in the elderly. The effect size of experimental group on life quality among physical and mental variables was 0.25 and 0.81, respectively. Further, 60 percent of changes in depression and 54 percent of anxiety were related to the spiritual–religious intervention.

Conclusion: Elderly are facing several physical and emotional crises that lead to reduced quality of life and more psychological symptoms. At this stage of life, religious and spiritual strategies can improve the elderly’s mental health.

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Please cite this article as: AskariM, MohammadiH, RadmehrH, JahangirAH. The effect of spiritual–religious psychotherapy on enhancing quality of life and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression among the elderly. J Res Relig Health. 2018; 4(2): 29- 41.

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Published
2018-03-10
Section
Original Article