Assessment of Awareness Regarding Spiritual Health among MBBS Students of R. D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain (M.P.)
“The spiritual dimension cannot be ignored, for it is what makes us human.”– Viktor F. Frankl
spiritual health is a new evolving concept came into media and publisher’s eyes in 1990’s, though the existence of spirituality is there with the existence of universe or beyond that…
The word spiritual came from the Latin roots “spiritualis” meaning “of breathing” or “spiritus” meaning “to breathe”. In different eras and different countries so many thinker have tried to explain the essence of spiritual health in their own manner, like Indian (Advaitavaad), Buddhist (Mahayaan) , Chinese(Zen philosophy) and so on..
But the term spiritual is frequently used in context of religion in Hebrait Old Testament and Greek New Testament (pneuma) and conventionally they are used in exchange of each other(1).
But spirituality is a long journey toward experiencing the meaning of life/ultimate goal in a complete way while the religion is a tool / step to achieve the ultimate goal, thus religion and spirituality though interrelated but are different entities.When we hear the word spiritual health, it sounds attractive but difficult to understand and even difficult to define. About a quarter of a century ago, the WHO entertained a discussion on whether the ‘spiritual’ dimension should be included in the definition of health in addition to physical, mental, and social well-being. A few years later, the spiritual dimension was included in a major journal dedicated to health promotion (2) and at about the same time, Agenda 21 recognized the right of individuals to ‘healthy physical, mental, and spiritual development'(3)and about decade ago, governments of all European nations signed the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development committing themselves to addressing the ‘spiritual’ needs of their populations: individuals, families, and communities, and to orienting their policies towards a ‘political, economic, ethical, and spiritual vision for social development'(4). More recently, the spiritual dimension of health was highlighted in the Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion (5). There is also the practical difficulty of identifying, defining and measuring dimensions of ‘spiritual’ health. It is perhaps easier to take the path of least resistance and focus on what we can readily measure, irrespective of its relative importance. Spirituality is a positive basic human value, an ontological, existential dimension of man which is supported by the longing for fulfilment in life and the search for meaning and purpose in and beyond life. Spirituality manifests in an individual, dynamic and evolutionaryprocess which transforms the personality in all phases and domains of life, and manifests in different ways of life. For better understanding spiritual health consists of (but not limited to).
-Inner experience of both a transcendent and immanent reality to higher states of consciousness
-Connecting with self, others, and a larger reality
-Experience of greater meaning and purpose in life
-Contemplation of a larger reality (6)
1) To develop a focused questionnaire specifically on spiritual health dimension awareness..
2) To assess the baseline knowledge about spiritual health.
3) To assess the awareness regarding importance of spiritual health and spirituality in individual’s life.
4) To assess the magnitude of confusion between being religious and spiritual.
Material and methods
The study will be conducted with the help of semi structured self administered questionnaire after taking an informed consent from the participants.
The study population will be Undergraduate medical students at RDGMC Ujjain.
Study design is cross-sectional.
Sample size calculation-
As prevalence of spiritually healthy people or percentage of person knowing about spiritual health is not known, i will consider “p” as 50% assuming it will represent for whole population,
According to formula-sample size= 4pq/l2
Assuming error to be 10%
Calculated sample size will be 400(after solving equation)
As my study population is finite population maximum 400 UG’s will be in RDGMC in all 4 years.. (UG students of RDGMC Ujjain)
Using formula –
Z 2 * (p) * (1-p)
Z = 1.96 (for 95% confidence level)
p = percentage picking a choice, expressed as decimal
(.5 used for sample size needed)
c = 0.1(confidence interval, expressed as decimal
Correction for Finite Population
Pop = population under study (400)
With which the sample size calculated =78
Those UG students who will give consent…
1. Participants may misunderstand the questionnaire as a study for some specific religion. Explanation-We will give a brief introduction before administering questionnaire.
2. After filling the questionnaire participants may ask for their own queries regarding spiritual health…. Explanation-there is a plan for spiritual awareness programmes to be conducted in phased manner by dept in upcoming future..
3. Participants may feel increased thought bouts after filling questionnaire… Explanation-there will be an invitation for those who have confusions & queries about spiritual health at dept in fixed hours.
With the a mean age 21.66 years & almost 50% males & 50% females study revealed following results…
1. A précised questionnaire on spiritual health awareness and a framework of domains to quantify awareness has been developed…
2. 37% participants registered wrong conception that religiousness & spirituality are both synonyms
3. 36% participants were having no idea about “nonduality”(adwaitvaad)
4. 58% participants gave positive response toward spiritual health need.
5. 82% participants gave positive response toward importance of spirituality..
6. Individuals felt difficulty in filling questionnaire in terms of language used in spiritual literature.
Rest of the results in terms of questions & scores in the developed questionnaire will be shown at the time of presentation.
1) Zinnbauer et al;1997
2) Michael P. O’Donnell (2009) Definition of Health Promotion 2.0: Embracing Passion, Enhancing Motivation, Recognizing Dynamic Balance, and Creating Opportunities. American Journal of Health Promotion: September/October 2009, Vol. 24, No. 1
3) UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development. Protecting and Promoting Human Health, Agenda 21, Chapter 6.23.
4) UN World Summit for Social Development. Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development.
5) Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalized World,2005 20th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion11-15 July 2010, Geneva, Switzerland)