Volume 27, Issue 4 (10-2019)                   Avicenna J Nurs Midwifery Care 2019, 27(4): 242-249 | Back to browse issues page

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Omidi A, Mohammadi N, Nazari S Z, Tapak L. Investigating Correlation Between Spiritual Health and Public Health Among Mothers of Mentally Disabled Children. Avicenna J Nurs Midwifery Care 2019; 27 (4) :242-249
URL: http://nmj.umsha.ac.ir/article-1-1804-en.html
1- Instructor, Chronic Diseases (Home Care) Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
2- MSc, Department of Nursing School of Nursing and Midwifery, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
3- Department of Biostatistic, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran
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Given the important role of mothers in the care for their children, the design of educational programs aimed at improving the health of mothers should be a priority.

Extended Abstract:   (773 Views)

For decades, health has been studied and analyzed on a physical, psychological and social basis, but today health has been recognized in terms of different aspects such as physical, mental, social, spiritual and ecological [1]. Public health is a concept that is defined as being far and free from disease. There have also been efforts by physicians and general practitioners to maintain this health and prevent physical and general disorders [2].
Accordingly, religion and spirituality are among the most important components of a person's sense of health that give meaning to human values, behaviors, experiences and structure. Faith and tradition also help man to attain perfection [3].
Many factors affect a person's health, such as the presence of a mentally disabled child in the family that affects all functional levels and roles of family members [6]. In fact, a mentally disabled child in the family disrupts the activities of families [7].
In families with children with disabilities, the mother is usually the primary caregiver and most of the research and supportive measures after the child are focused on the mother [10].
Spiritual intervention along with other nursing interventions will balance the body, psyche and spirituality in order to achieve full and comprehensive health [11]; Therefore, considering the mission of community health nurses, namely promoting and maintaining the health of community members, the present study aimed to determine the correlation between spiritual health and general health of mothers of mentally retarded children.


Materials and Methods

This is a descriptive-correlational cross-sectional study that investigated 165 mothers of mentally retarded children (mothers of 87 girls and 93 educable mentally retarded boys) based on inclusion criteria. Due to the limited number of samples, the sampling method was census and all mothers who were eligible for the study were asked to complete the questionnaires. These include: their children were 12-6 years of age, their children were in elementary school, their IQ was between 71-50, one child with intellectual disability, and the diagnosis of their child's mental disability was recorded at school, the mothers were literate, and the diagnosis of other mental disorders in their children was unproven.
The instrument used in this study was a three-part questionnaire. The first part of the demographic data collection form had 28 questions that the researcher prepared based it on the research goals. The second part was the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). The third part is a 20-item Spiritual Well-being Questionnaire (SWB) developed by Paloutzian and Ellison.
Informed consent was obtained from the mothers after going to school on the prescribed days, before completing the questionnaire, and they were informed by the researcher about the goals and method of the research. Withdrawal was permitted. The mothers were then asked to complete spiritual health questionnaires, general health, and demographic information at home and to deliver to school counselors within the time allowed. The data of this study were cross-sectional collected in spring 2017.
Data were analyzed using SPSS 23 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL., USA). Descriptive statistics and Pearson and Spearman tests were used to determine the correlation between variables. Significance level was set at 5%.



According to the research findings, the mean (standard deviation) of mothers' general health score was 33.81±16.27 and mean and standard deviation of their spiritual health score was 93.21±12.97. There was also a significant inverse relationship between general health and spiritual health (P<0.05), with increasing spiritual health, mothers' health disorders decreased (Table 1).

Table 1. Correlation between general health and spiritual health in mothers of mentally retarded children

Most of the subjects (40%) had mild health disorders and only a small percentage (7.3%) had severe health disorders (Table 2).

Table 2. Frequency distribution of scores of public health domains by different levels


Most of the subjects (63%) were in moderate spiritual health and none of them were in poor spiritual health (Table 3).

Table 3. Frequency Distribution of Scores of Spiritual Health Areas by Different Levels


According to the findings, there was a significant correlation (P<0.05) between spiritual health (religious and existential health) and general health (anxiety and sleep disorders, social functioning symptoms, and depression symptoms and symptoms) (P<0.05) (Table 4).

Table 4. Correlation of general health and spiritual health domains



According to the results of the study, mothers' general health was accepted and only 7.3% of them reported health disorders. Most mothers (67.9%) had mild or very mild health problems. According to the results of the study by Gorji et al., mothers of autistic children had average general health levels. They scored low on depression and social performance, and scores were average in other areas. The results of the present study are consistent with a Yektakhah study [18].
Given that the present study examined the mothers of mentally handicapped children, it is recommended that this project be performed in other vulnerable groups of society.



According to the results of the study, there is an inverse relationship between spiritual well-being and health disorders, so that promoting spiritual well-being promotes general health and decreases maternal health disorders, so it is necessary to design programs with regard to mothers' essential role in their child care and make education a priority to improve maternal health. These programs, considering the enormous impact of spirituality on maternal general health, can consider religious-spiritual issues as the main framework of the project and use these topics to improve the health of mothers of mentally retarded children.



This article is taken from the Master's Degree in Community Health Nursing thesis, approved by the Research Council of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, project number 9512037296. This project has also been registered with the Ethics Committee of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences under IR.UMSHA.REC.1395.553. The authors are grateful to the Honorable Research Deputy and Honorable Members of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences Nursing and Midwifery Department, as well as Honorable Welfare Officers of Hamadan City and Honorable Officers of Exceptional Schools in Hamadan.


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: Nursing
Received: 2017/10/3 | Accepted: 2017/11/22 | Published: 2018/01/21

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