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  • Mind and spirit. Chaplaincy and spiritual care in inpatient psychiatry - a qualitative study

    Diamantis, Elias; Miles-Marsh, Rupert; Stowell, Anita
    Aims: Introduction. Despite society's secularisation, as of 2019 only 38.4% of the population of England and Wales identified as “No Religion”. The integration of chaplaincy and spiritual care teams into health services varies widely and we undertook this qualitative research to better understand the spiritual needs on psychiatric wards. Methods: Between October 2021 and January 2022, we carried out semi-structured interviews with 10 patients and 10 staff-members, convenience sampled from acute General Adult Wards. The interviews were approximately 10–15 minutes long, documented in shorthand, compiled, and analysed thematically. Results: Themes (P = patient, S = staff member) 1. Religion and belief, or lack of it, defies categorisation P1 (36M) identified as Christian but didn't really believe, whilst S2 (Nurse Clinical Team Leader) professed no religion but prayed that her sister would be healed. P7 (59F) was brought up Christian but thought religion was a fantasy. P2(21M) identified as Wiccan but thought all religions hold truth. 2. An incarnational, embodied service P9 (33F) wished chaplains wandered around the wards and S10 (F1 Junior Doctor) praised their presence in general hospitals. P1 wanted a “prayer circle” and S5 (Student Nurse) suggested weekly worship services. 3. Space to “be” S10 liked an empty chapel to think in and P4 (29M) said he was Lacking space for reflection and meditation. 4. Unmet needs P9 felt abandoned by God during the admission and her vicar had recently died. She wanted someone to sit, pray with her and point her to helpful scriptures but was not aware of the existence of chaplaincy. Of the patients, only P3 knew how to contact the service and S8 said it was rarely discussed by the MDT. 5. Caution, ignorance and suspicion S1 and S8 said chaplaincy visits are sometimes distressing for patients preoccupied with devils and demons and P5 (26M) was worried they'd judge him. 6. Links with wider faith communities P6 (46F) would like to attend church with her family, P4(29M) would like to know where he could go to worship and S2 was also curious of what's available outside hospital. Conclusion: Discussion and clinical implications Despite limitations of small size and recruitment bias, the themes emphasise the complexity of understanding someone's spirituality. It highlights a call for a more visible presence and thoughtful consideration of what a spiritual need is and how it can be met. Ward visits should be prioritised, having recently been limited by COVID-19 restrictions. Patient information and staff education regarding chaplaincy and spiritual care is urgently needed on psychiatric inpatient wards.
  • The experiences of spirituality among adults with mental health difficulties: a qualitative systematic review

    Milner, Katja; Crawford, Paul; Hare-Duke, Laurie; Slade, Mike (2019)
    Aims: Despite an increasing awareness of the importance of spirituality in mental health contexts, a ‘religiosity gap’ exists in the difference in the value placed on spirituality and religion by professionals compared with service users. This may be due to a lack of understanding about the complex ways people connect with spirituality within contemporary society and mental health contexts, and can result in people's spiritual needs being neglected, dismissed or pathologised within clinical practice. The aim of this qualitative systematic review is to characterise the experiences of spirituality among adults with mental health difficulties in published qualitative research. Methods: An electronic search of seven databases was conducted along with forward and backward citation searching, expert consultation and hand-searching of journals. Thirty-eight studies were included from 4944 reviewed papers. The review protocol was pre-registered (PROSPERO:CRD42017080566). Results: A thematic synthesis identified six key themes: Meaning-making (sub-themes: Multiple explanations; Developmental journey; Destiny v. autonomy), Identity, Service-provision, Talk about it, Interaction with symptoms (sub-themes: Interactive meaning-making; Spiritual disruption) and Coping (sub-themes: Spiritual practices; Spiritual relationship; Spiritual struggles; Preventing suicide), giving the acronym MISTIC. Conclusions: This qualitative systematic review provides evidence of the significant role spirituality plays in the lives of many people who experience mental health difficulties. It indicates the importance of mental health professionals being aware of and prepared to support the spiritual dimension of people using services. The production of a theory-based framework can inform efforts by health providers to understand and address people's spiritual needs as part of an integrated holistic approach towards care.
  • Spirituality in the primary care setting

    Keith, Penny (2017)
    This chapter introduces spirituality in primary care from the perspective of two primary care practitioners. It begins with a brief overview of some of the issues facing those working in primary care and the importance of holistic approaches to care. The current evidence concerning spirituality in primary care is then reviewed before focusing on how to operationalise spirituality in this setting. Chapter 4 provided the framework of availability and vulnerability which is particularly salient in primary care and should be reviewed by the reader as a useful framework for operationalising spirituality. A number of verbatim quotes taken from the interview transcripts from a study by Penny of ANP’s in primary care have been included to offer insights into the provision of spiritual care in this setting (1).
  • Praying alongside patients: Personal reflections on therapeutic supplications

    Ali, Mohammed M. (2015)
    This brief article (letter to the editor) contains a number of observations and personal reflections made by the author, a psychiatrist, with respect to their clinical practice and the religious/spiritual life of some patients detained within secure mental healthcare services.
  • Situating Islamic feminism(s): Lived religion, negotiation of identity and assertion of third space by muslim women in Pakistan

    Zubair, Maria (2017)
    This paper reports the findings of an exploratory, qualitative study with Pakistani women to explore how Muslim women studying English in higher education contexts in Pakistan engage with feminist thought. The broader aim of the study was to capture the relationship between these women's ‘secular’ education and their religious (and secular) social identities as young, urban, middle class working women in a Pakistani higher education context. In particular, the study sets out to explore how Pakistani women at higher education institutions interact with and use ‘new’ forms of knowledges, particularly those dominated by western frameworks of intellectual thought and reasoning, in the context of their own potentially different social lives and self-identities as Muslim women. The findings show that the young women academics in addition to negotiating with the Western notions of Feminism also simultaneously challenge the indigenous patriarchal hegemonies and conservative religious discourses in their social context by attempting to rework notions of Muslim women's identity in Pakistan, envisaging what Bhabha has termed a third space. © 2017
  • On spirituality

    Taylor, Jeremy (2005)
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  • Religious conversion among high security hospital patients: A qualitative analysis of patients’ accounts and experiences on changing faith

    Vollm, Birgit A.; Abdelrazek, Tarek (2016)
    Research has shown the importance of religion in recovery from mental illness. Previous studies have investigated why individuals change faith during custody in prison, but there has been no research to date on religious conversion in forensic-psychiatric hospitals. The aim of this study was to understand the experience of religious conversion among patients detained in a UK secure hospital. Thirteen patients who had converted their religion were interviewed and the resultant data were analysed using thematic analysis. Three superordinate themes (“reasons for changing faith”, “benefits of having a new faith” and “difficulties with practising a faith”), incorporating eight subordinate themes, emerged. Understanding patients’ reasons for religious conversion is important for the treatment and support not merely of these individuals, but more broadly with patients in forensic-psychiatric care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)
  • Possession and jinn

    Khalifa, Najat; Hardie, Timothy (2005)
    Muslims form Britain's largest ethnic minority group - nearly three percent of the UK population - and in this community there is widespread belief in jinn possession. The prevalence of jinn possession states remains unknown. When medical and psychiatric services become involved, an inclusive, culturally sensitive approach is good medical practice. In future research, it would be useful to clarify the relationship between explanatory models generated by the medical profession, Muslim religious leaders, the Muslim population and faith healers, with a view to defining better treatment pathways. 18 refs. [Conclusion]
  • Beliefs about Jinn, black magic and the evil eye among Muslims: Age, gender and first language influences

    Khalifa, Najat; Hardie, Timothy (2011)
    Mental health services in the UK have been repeatedly criticised for being insensitive to patients’ religious and cultural needs. Muslims form Britain’s largest ethnic minority group-nearly 3% of the UK population-yet, their health beliefs and practices remain relatively unexplored. We examined Muslims’ beliefs about Jinn, black magic and the evil eye and whether believed affliction by these supernatural entities could cause physical or mental health problems and also whether doctors, religious leaders, or both should treat this. A self-report questionnaire was given to a convenience sample of Muslims aged 18 years and over (n = 111). The majority of the sample believed in the existence of Jinn, black magic and the evil eye and approximately half of them stated that these could cause physical and mental health problems and that these problems should be treated by both doctors and religious figures. Our results highlight an important area that demands attention from providers of health care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)
  • Beliefs about Jinn, black magic and evil eye in Bangladesh: The effects of gender and level of education

    Khalifa, Najat (2013)
    The study was aimed to examine beliefs among 320 attendees of a large University Hospital in Dhaka about Jinn, black magic and evil eye among Muslims in Bangladesh, using a self-completed questionnaire. The majority believed in the existence of Jinn (72%) and in Jinn possession (61%). In contrast, a relatively smaller proportion believed in the existence of black magic and evil eye (50% and 44%, respectively). Women were more likely than men to believe in the existence of Jinn and to cite religious figures as the treating authority for diseases attributed to affliction by black magic. Participants with a higher educational attainment were less likely than those with lower attainment to believe in jinn possession; or to believe that Jinn, black magic, or evil eye could cause mental health problems. Mental health care practitioners need to be mindful of these beliefs to achieve the best outcome for their patients.
  • The making of modern medicine: Turning points in the treatment of disease

    Hussain, Zulfkar (2011)
    A BOOK of 112 pages could not hope to cover the vast topic of modern medicine. however, Michael Bliss has managed to condense it to an overview that relates to current debates and discussions, particularly around the effect that religious beliefs can have on medical treatments.