Spiritual Health Among Pakistani Religious and Non-Religious Professional: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study Highlighting the Role of Regional Beliefs and Practices

Ambreen Aslam, BSN, MSPH; Zaeema Ahmer, MBBS, MSPH; Meha Fatima Aftab, BSMT, PGD, PhD; Asif Ahmed, MBBS, PhD



Background Spiritual health forms the core of health and is associated with better physical and mental health. Spiritual health and wellbeing has been shown to be significantly associated with better mental outcomes, yet there’s lack of understanding of the determinants of spiritual health. Religious practices have been shown to improve health and have been assumed to be associated with spirituality, yet there remains a gap between religious practices and spiritual health. It is therefore, crucial to understand the role of religious beliefs and practices in improving spiritual health.

Purpose • To assess spiritual wellbeing between religious and non-religious professionals and assess how regional religious beliefs and practices are associated with spiritual wellbeing.

 Methods • We examined spiritual health among religious and non-religious professionals. A comparative cross sectional study was done with a sample size of 210.  Differences of spiritual health and spiritual experiences, perceived spiritual traits and psychological parameters were observed.

Results • Religious professionals were found to be more spiritually healthy than non-religious professionals (P < .05). Spiritual experiences weakly contribute to spiritual health (r = 0.39, P < .05). Perceived spiritual traits including frequency of prayer (β = 5.25, CI = 1.80-8.70, P < .01) and belief in the presence of Supreme Being (β = 1.001, CI = 0.120-1.883, P < .05) influenced spiritual wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing showed a negative association with psychological parameters including anger (OR = 0.95, CI = 0.929-0.987, P < .05).

Conclusion and Implications • The findings from this study show that religious professionals tend to be more spiritually healthy than non-religious professionals highlighting the importance of incorporating religious practices to ensure spiritual wellbeing. Improving spiritual wellbeing can provide an important tool for promoting holistic healing. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2020;34(3):18-24.)


Ambreen Aslam, BSN, MSPH; Zaeema Ahmer, MBBS, MSPH; Meha Fatima Aftab BSMT, PGD, PhD; APPNA Institute of Public Health, Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan. Asif Ahmed, MBBS, PhD, Baqai Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan.



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