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Medical students’ perceptions on spirituality and health, and its challenges

Zakaria, Rozanizam and Md Rosli, Ahmad Nabil (2018) Medical students’ perceptions on spirituality and health, and its challenges. In: International Muslim Mental Health Conference 2018, 3rd-5th July 2018, Serdang, Selangor.

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Introduction: Medical practitioners are expected to be aware of the impact that spirituality has on patients’ illness and the treatment process. The training to improve medical practitioners’ competency should begin during medical undergraduate study. However, to date, there is no empirical evidence to investigate Malaysian undergraduate medical students’ perception on spirituality and health and the challenges they face to implement this knowledge into practice. This particularly university was chosen as the institution has been implementing specific curriculum to integrate Islamic input in their 5-year medical course. The aim of this study is to assess final-year medical students’ perceptions on spirituality and health and qualitatively explore their perceived challenges. Methods: This is a cross sectional study that assess both quantitative and qualitative aspect of the objectives. A purposive sampling of 134 final-year medical students of a local Malaysian university were recruited for this study. A cross-sectional survey was delivered to students using an online form. Students were asked to answer about their beliefs and awareness regarding the relationship between patients’ spirituality and health plus how often they enquire about patients spirituality in their clinical work. The challenges to the latter, were answered qualitatively. Results: Majority (67%) of the respondents were female and all of them were Muslim. Majority (92.1%) believed that spirituality has much influence on patients’ health. 78.5 % of the students viewed the influence as being generally positive. Significant numbers of them (97.1%) believed that is generally appropriate to discuss spiritual issues with patients. Even though the majority of the respondents (91.4%) agreed that they have enquired about spiritual issues with patients at some point during their clinical posting, only about one-third (33.6%) frequently do so. Three major themes emerged in relation to the challenges in enquiring patients’ spirituality among students, which are (i) patient’s factor; uncomfortable, refusal, (ii) student’s factor; lack of knowledge, professionalism, and (iii) situational factors; time, posting. Conclusion: Despite a good students’ rating on the perception of spirituality and health, in practice only one-third of them frequently enquired issues related to spirituality. The challenges that emerge are important aspects that need to be addressed in their training.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Additional Information: 6940/64651
Uncontrolled Keywords: medical students, perception, spirituality, health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Medicine > Department of Psychiatry
Kulliyyah of Medicine
Depositing User: Dr Ahmad Nabil Md Rosli
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2018 11:38
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2018 11:38
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/64651

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