Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background: Although the positive impact of spirituality on mental health has become more widely accepted in the past decade, it is a challenging subject due to its distinctive nature between beliefs and cultures. Objectives: This study aimed to define the term spirituality and its influence on mental health based on the viewpoint of Thai psychiatrists. Methods: This qualitative research was conducted in 20 Thai psychiatrists recruited from all regions across Thailand using a semi-structured in-depth interview, based on literature reviews. The collected data were analyzed via content analysis. Results: We found that Thai psychiatrists define spirituality as a belief, reliance, the meaning of life, transcendental, and believe that spirituality is not limited to religion. Thai psychiatrists have a positive attitude toward spirituality within the field of psychiatry and see both its positive and negative effects on mental health, depending on the individual and the contexts. They determine the effect of spirituality on mental health by the outcome, similarly to mental concepts including harmfulness and distress. Conclusion: When approached wisely, spirituality provides valuable means to promote mental health and should be taken into consideration by mental health professionals.



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