Spiritual Health in the Iranian Elderly: A Systematic Review

Keywords: Spiritual Well-being Spiritual Health, Systematic Analysis, Elderly

Abstract

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Background and Objective: Considering the increase in the elderly population of the country, it is essential to pay attention to different aspects of their health including their spiritual health and the factors affecting it. The present study is an attempt to achieve a comprehensive outlook of the status of spiritual health in the Iranian elderly and the influential factors in this regard.

Methods: This is a systematic review and search. At the end of July, 2019, English and Persian articles were searched and read on the PubMed, Google Scholar, Iranian journals database, Jahad Daneshgahi Database Center, and Noormags using the keywords ‘elderly’, ‘spiritual well-being’, ‘elderly’, ‘older people’, ‘older adult’, ‘aged’, ‘senior’, ‘Iran’, and ‘spiritual health’. Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 34 related articles were included in the study. The authors reported no conflicts of interest in the present study.

Results: Out of the articles included in the study, 17 articles had examined the relationship between spiritual health and psychological factors, seven studies had described the status of spiritual health, four had examined the relationship between spiritual health and the quality of life and three studies had studied the relationship between successful old age, prayers and blood sugar control. Three studies were interventional examining the effect of telling memories, spiritual care and spiritual intervention on spiritual health of the elderly. Furthermore, in more than 90% of the studies, Palotzin and Ellison’s Spiritual Health questionnaire had been used for assessing spiritual health and in most of the studies the spiritual health score has been evaluated as medium.

Conclusion: Based on the findings, it can be stated that promoting spiritual health in the elderly can be effective in improving their mental health, quality of life and sense of satisfaction in life. The results related to the relationship between demographic features and spiritual health were paradoxical in some cases. Therefore, there is a need to develop and use a more appropriate instrument well-suited to this age group and the Iranian-Islamic culture for evaluating and assessing spiritual health in the elderly.

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Please cite this article as: Kashanimovahhed B, Hosseinian-sarajehloo F, Bahrami AR, Shokri-Khoubestani M, Abdoljabari M.Spiritual Health in the Iranian Elderly: A Systematic Review. Journal of Pizhūhish dar dīn va salāmat. 2020;6(2):129-147. https://doi.org/10.22037/jrrh.v6i2.26870

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Published
2020-06-20
Section
Review Article