This Article

Citations


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The Effect of Quranic Mentality Program on Mental Health of Students of Urmia University of Medial Sciences (Ramadan 2012)


1 Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, IR Iran
2 Urmia Payame Noor University, Urmia, IR Iran
*Corresponding author: Hayedeh Feizi Pour, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, IR Iran. Tel: +98-9141469658, E-mail: h.feizipour@gmail.com.
Islamic Lifestyle Centered on Health. 2013 December; 1(4): e15519 , DOI: 10.5812/ilch.15519
Article Type: Research Article; Received: Oct 29, 2013; Accepted: Aug 31, 2013; epub: Dec 20, 2013; ppub: Dec 2013

Abstract


Background: Religion and health are two very important aspects of human societies. In recent years, psychologists have viewed religion as an extraordinary force which gives spiritual power to humans and protects them against difficulties and hardship; it also keeps them away from stress and worries. Quranic mentality program is a combination of academic training, as well as religious activities.

Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the impact of the educational program of Quranic mentality on the mental health of students.

Patients and Methods: Mental health questionnaire (28-GHQ) which was extracted by Goldberg and Hillier was the tool that had been used in this study. From a statistical population of 200, a sample of 50 students had been selected from 3 classrooms of 40 with the use of random clustering method; also a control group of 50 students (25 females and 25 males) who were studying at the same time at the university had been selected. Statistical methods of t-test had been used for independent groups.

Results: The results show that there is a significant difference between control and experimental groups; moreover, Quranic mentality program had an impact on mental health increment of students.

Conclusions: Based on previous studies, it can be concluded that religious and behavioral aspects can be used as a factor in the improvement of human mental health.

Keywords: Mental Health; Religion and Human Health; Tensions; Quran

1. Background


Research literature on health psychology shows that in recent years there had been much attention among researchers for understanding the predictors of physical and mental health (1). In WHO Constitution, human health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Accordingly, one of the three main pillars of human health is mental health witch by interacting with physical and social health causes public health (2).


Based on the reports of this organization, the world witnessed major changes in epidemiology of disease as well as in needs of people in the last two decades; in a way that non-contagious diseases such as mental diseases have been quickly replaced the infectious and contagious diseases, and stands among top condition of disability and early death. According to the estimates of UN, the prevalence of mental disorders in developing countries is increasing (3). According to world health organization statistics, one percent of world population suffers from severe mental disorders and 5% - 15% suffers from mild mental disorders. Sectional prevalence of mental disorders in Iran has been reported as 18% - 23% (ibid.).


In many communities, people in stressful situations deal with stress with the use of prayers and attendance to religious rituals, and scientific evidence had shown its positive effects on mental health (4-6). Faith and tradition in their positive form create mutual activities and help people achieve their perfection (7). Religious practices and beliefs are associated with all aspects of health and disease; it guides daily living habits and it is a source of support, strength and improvement (8). The spiritual dimension of human existence is one of the four dimensions of a holistic approach, and like biological, psychological and social aspects has its importance. Based on research evidence, attention to the spiritual dimension of care will significantly result in different outcomes of physical, psychological and social diseases. In addition, participation in religious and spiritual rituals is associated with better health outcomes, such as increased life expectancy, reduced cardiovascular disease, and reduction of depression risk, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide, better ability to adapt and improve the quality of life (9).


Quranic mentality program is a new educational initiative that both scientific and spiritual aspects are emphasized together. This plan has been held since 2009 in some universities around the country with the aim of familiarization of students with Quran in Ramadan.

2. Objectives


The aims of Quranic mentality program are as follows:


1. Using universities and spiritual atmosphere of Ramadan for training and self-regulation, 2. Promotion of Quran ethics and religion, 3. Development of Quranic insight and religion of students, 4. Enemy identification based on religion, 5. Creating of cultural, structural studies groups and strengthening organizations, clubs and panels, 6. Strengthening Quranic revolutionary identity and self-esteem spirit, 7. Transference of Quranic and revolutionary concepts in the sublime environment of Ramadan.


The project outputs are as follows:


1. Set up Quran studying groups at the University, 2. Motivation and education of students for active participation in liberal free talks and valuing them, 3. Identifying active students and writers to work with the media, 4. Formation of Cyber groups of active students to teach religious and monotheistic educations at international levels, 5. Establishing interdisciplinary scientific and Quranic community (Quran, sociology, Quran and law, Quran and political science, etc.).

3. Patients and Methods


First, in this study, from 3 classes of 40 and all female students who had participated in Quranic mentality program, 2 classes with total of 50 participants have been selected as the experimental group with the use of random clustering selection. To following principles of research ethics, the topic of this study had been explained to the students and with their consent, mental health questionnaire had been conducted as the pre-test. 50 students who had been studying with conventional and classical methods at the university at the same time, but who were not participated in Quranic mentality program have been selected as the control group. Mental health questionnaire had been conducted on these patients as well. Then, the experimental group received a 17-day educational course of the university based on Quranic mentality program with the activities that will be explained later, while the control group had been receiving education based on previous traditional and commonly used teaching methods.


The educational and Quranic mentality program activities that performed every day in 3 steps are as follows: 1. From 9 am to 1 pm, university courses had been thought by experienced professors who emphasized on effective communication with students, 2. After participating in congregational prayers, classes named Group Work had been held in 3 different categories. These Group Works included: Quranic studies, Psychology (premarital traumas and Management training of relationship with the opposite sex), Iran Studies. The special features of this Group Works were the active participation and the role that students played in discussions; in particular the use of questioning and answering method by them. The educational method was based on a student-centered teaching and learning, and the professor played the role of an observer and controller of the topics of these session (to the extent that students wouldn’t get far from the main subject), 3. The presence of religious psychologists and counselors in dormitories for providing counseling services and the accommodation of religious programs and events related to physical education of students after the Azan and eating breakfast.


One of the specific conditions that are considered in Quranic mentality program is the restoration of a favorable environment for familiarity with the Quran as well as the daily attendance of students to religious and worshiping rituals.


This program continued on a regular basis for 17 days, and after the end of this period general health questionnaire was administered to both experimental and control groups.


General health questionnaire (GHQ-28): this form of general health questionnaire was extracted by Goldberg & Hillier in 1979 based on factor analysis of 60-question form of Goldberg (1972) which showed highest reliability and sensitivity among different versions of public health questionnaires. This questionnaire measures four subscales of somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and depression and evaluates mental status of individual in the past month. In a study, the Cronbach alpha coefficients had been reported as 0.85, 0.78, 0.79, 0.91, 0.85 respectively for somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction, depression, and overall mental health (10). For the analysis of questionnaires’ data, the statistical method of t-test had been used for independent groups.

4. Results


Table 1 Shows number of respondents by gender and level of interest in their field of study. As it has been explained before, 50 students (25 males and 25 females) had been selected as experiment group and the same number of participants had been selected as control group. From the total number of participants, 54 students had a high level of interest in their field of study.


Table 1.
The Frequency of Respondents by Gender and the Interest in Their Field of Study

The average age of participants in this study was 22.25 years which it has shown in the following histogram (Figure 1). In Table 1 the average scores of GHQ and its subscales related to male and female students in both experiment and control groups, and for pre-test and post-test are shown.


Figure 1.
Mean Age of Students Participated in the Study

In Tables 1 - 3 the average scores of GHQ and its subscales related to male and female students in both experiment and control groups, and for pre-test and post-test are shown.


Table 2.
Description of Statistics Related to the Age of the Students

Table 3.
The Average Scores of GHQ of Students in Pre- and Post-Tests

By subtracting the mean scores of pre-test and post-test, the mean differences can be obtained which are shown for both experiment and control groups (Table 4).


Table 4.
Mean Difference for Pre- and Post-Test Based on Groups

In Figure 2, the mean scores of pre-test and post-test in both experiment and control groups are shown. As it can be seen, the mean scores of pre-test are close in both experiment and control groups and because of it, the two graph are matched; this indicates homologue and similar selection of both experiment and control groups. Regarding post-test it can be seen that no significant changes had been observed in the control group, while experiment groups showed a significant difference; however, this must be verified statistically.


Figure 2.
The Average Scores of Both Control and Experiment Groups

To test this hypothesis, comparing means test had been used; and because the test consisted of two independent groups of experiment and control, the comparison test of two independent groups had been used (Table 5).


Table 5.
Descriptive Statistics of the Hypothesis

As mentioned earlier, our assumption is that mentality program affects GHQ scores in the experiment group. Therefore, there should be a difference between mean scores of pre-test and post-test. Comparing the means in Table 5 shows that the mean difference is greater in the experiment group. In other words, the mentality program decreased 12.17 from the mean score; while this difference is 1.92 for the control group that had the traditional program of the university; this difference is large comparing to the control group.


In Table 6 two rows have been considered for mean differences between pre-test and post-test while the first row is for comparing two independent groups with variance equality assumption and the second row is for comparing two independent groups with variance inequality assumption. The first part of the Table 6 (Levene’s test for equality of variances) will help us for using one of the rows; if (P value) is above 0.05 we will use the first row and if it is lower than 0.05, we will use the second row. In this study, the dependent variable is mean difference of GHQ scores (in pre-and post-test); it must be determined whether there is a difference in scores between the experiment and control groups or not. The first part of Table 6 shows that (P value) is above 0.05 meaning the variances are not equal; therefore, we use the first row. Sig is at 0.000, which is lower than 0.05. So it could be said that there is a significant difference among GHQ scores between experiment and control groups, and the experiment group has a higher difference. In other words, the feasting plan created a greater difference; in a way that the mean scores of GHQ score decreased by 12.17. Therefore, research hypothesis is confirmed statistically.


Table 6.
Comparison Test for the Hypothesis

5. Discussion


Education, religion and health are considered three very important areas of human societies. In recent years, psychologists viewed religion as an extraordinary force that gives humans spiritual strength and protects them against difficulties and hardship; keeps them away from anxiety and stress. This is largely due to empirical researches that supported the relationship between religious practices and increased mental health (10).


The results of this study shows that the Quranic mentality program which is a combination of academic and Quranic lessons and religious activities have a positive impact on the improvement of mental health of students who had participated in the study. The results of studies in such areas suggests that religious practices such as attending religious sites and receiving emotional and social support has a positive effect on the promotion of mental health (11) and they support the hypothesis of this research. Research has shown that religious activity is associated with health and well-being of people (12-14). A previous study showed that participation in religious rituals reduces anxiety (15). Devotional activities are associated with health and wellbeing. In addition to attitude, religion, faith, and love have worshiping and practical aspects as well (16). Another study confirm the hypothesis of this study (17). One of the causes of happiness in happy characters of the word is the use of religious or spiritual values in a positive direction (18). To examine the relationship between “religious”, “religious attitude” and “psychological hardship” with “mental health” of anchorites of Rasht, 96 men from Ghods Mosques and women from the holy mosque of Imam Reza (AS) in Rasht were selected randomly; they completed religious identity, religious attitude, psychological hardship and mental health questionnaires, as well as demographic questionnaire. Extracted Data were analyzed using t-test for one group and two groups, Pearson correlation and multiple regression analysis method were also analyzed step by step. The results showed that these participants were in a better situation of religious identity, religious attitude, psychological hardship and mental health aspects comparing to common people. There is a significant relationship between the components of religious identity, religious attitude and psychological hardship with mental (19).


5.1. Suggestions

According to the students who participated in this study, the high score of pre-test in Mental Health Questionnaire of students in the control and experiment groups, could be due to the short time (about 4 - 6 days) between the end of the examination period and the start of the mentality program, therefore the students had not overcome the concerns and worries of the end of the semester. In other words, students were still under the influence of psychological stress and lack of sleep of the examination period which is also accepted in psychology. However, based on the results of this study, it has been shown that an intervention in a combined form of an educational, religious-spiritual and psychological activities can improve the mental health of students. Accordingly, it is proposed that a training program with a combination of three areas of education, religious-spiritual and psychological training, particularly with an emphasis on student-oriented (rather than teacher-centered) and effective communication between teachers and students should be performed at universities, and as scientific research, the impact on mental health, anxiety, motivation, achievement, happiness and should also be examined.

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the officials and colleagues of Quran thought feasting plan at Urmia university of medical sciences who helped us in this project; finally, we thank the Almighty God for success and health for them.

References


  • 1. Issazadegan A, Sheikhi S. [The relationship between optimim & emotion regulation strategies with general health]. J Urmia Nurs Midwifery Fac. 2011;9(5):393-84.
  • 2. World Health Organization.. Noncommunicable diseases and mental health. Geneva: Inistitute; 2003.
  • 3. Mohammadi M, Yavarian R, Arefi M. [A comparison of mental health & life expectancy in employed & unemployed women of West Azerbaijan]. J Urmia Nurs Midfery Fac. 2011;9(1):39-43.
  • 4. Eaman J. [Perceived stressors and coping strategies of parents who have children whit developmental disabilitie]. J Pediatr Nurs. 1993;10(5):311-9.
  • 5. Yazdi KH. Coping strategies with parents of childrens with thalassemia referred to Tabriz Children's Hospital. J Gorgan Bouyeh Fac Nurs Midwifery. 2000;3(5):23-7.
  • 6. Akbarbagloo A, Habibpour Z. [Investigating the relationship between mental health and using coping strategies in parents]. J Urmia Nurs Midwifery Fac. 2011;8(4):190-6.
  • 7. Wulff DM. [Psychology of religion]. Tehran: Roshd; 2009. 534 pp.
  • 8. McSherry W. Nurses' perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care. Nurs Stand. 1998;13(4):36-40. [DOI] [PubMed]
  • 9. Khorami Markani A, Yagmaei F, Khodayari Fard M, Alavi Majd H. [Developing & measuring psychometrics of oncology nurses spiritual wellbeing scale]. J Urmia Nurs Midwifery Fac. 2012;10(1):113-21.
  • 10. Kajbaf H, Etebari S. [The relationship between religious attitude and mental health]. J Islamic Univ. 2007;9(27)
  • 11. Nouzari J, Gholam G. [An Investigation of Relationship between Religious Orientation, Practical Obligation to the Islamic Tenets and Students' Mental Health Studies of Islam & Psychology]. 2010;4(7)
  • 12. Maselko J, Kubzansky LD. Gender differences in religious practices, spiritual experiences and health: results from the US General Social Survey. Soc Sci Med. 2006;62(11):2848-60. [DOI] [PubMed]
  • 13. Nikooy M, Seif S. The relationship between religiostry marital satisfaction. J News Res Counceling. 2000;4(13)
  • 14. Johnstone B, Yoon DP. Relationships between the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality and health outcomes for a heterogeneous rehabilitation population. Rehabil Psychol. 2009;54(4):422-31. [DOI] [PubMed]
  • 15. Masood B, Hasan B. Relationship between Religiosity, Personality and Teachers' Mental Health. Stud Islam Psychol. 201;5(9)
  • 16. Golzari M. [The Influence of `Umrah Mufradah on Students'Mental Health, Happiness and Practicing Religious Beliefs]. Available from: http://www.isl-psychology.com/...
  • 17. Asgary P, Sharafaddin H. [The relationship of social anxiety, hope & social support with subjective health]. J News Ideas Psychol. 2000;1(4):82-95.
  • 18. Gauntlett KA. Characteristics of late-life happiness: The cognitions, behaviors, emotions, and attitudes of happy individuals during late-life development A Clinical Research Project Submitted to the Faculty of Argosy University-San Francisco Bay Area in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements. Argosy University San Francisco; 2009.
  • 19. Shakeri Nia I. The Relationship between Religious Identity, Religious Attitude, Psychological hardness and Mu`takifs' Mental Health Studies of Islam & Psychology. 2010;4(7)

Table 1.

The Frequency of Respondents by Gender and the Interest in Their Field of Study

Gender The Level of Interest Total
Low Medium High
Female 6 21 23 50
Male 3 16 31 50
Total 9 37 54 100

Table 3.

The Average Scores of GHQ of Students in Pre- and Post-Tests

Group Pre-Test Post-Test
A B C D T A B C D T
Experiment
Male 5.8 7.24 7.64 6.08 27 1.27 2.32 3.92 1.44 9.4
Female 8.68 9.76 10 7.6 36.04 2.76 3.24 4.68 1.16 11.84
Control
Male 5.6 7.48 9.67 7.32 30.16 6.76 6.92 8.68 6.92 29.28
Female 8.92 9.44 8.12 6.12 32.6 8.48 7.8 8.6 4.68 29.88

Table 2.

Description of Statistics Related to the Age of the Students

Parameters Values
Sample size 100
Mean ± SD 22.25 ± 2.08
Variance 4.311
Range 16.00
Minimum 19.00
maximum 35.00

Table 4.

Mean Difference for Pre- and Post-Test Based on Groups

Group Variations AA BB CC DD TT
Experiment 5 5.72 4.52 5.66 20.90
Control -0.36 0.94 0.30 0.92 1.92

Table 5.

Descriptive Statistics of the Hypothesis

Groups No. Mean Difference a Standard Deviation Mean Standard Error
Experiment 50 20.9 12.17601 1.72195
Control 50 1.92 4.91495 0.69508
a Mean difference of groups (pre-test and post-test).

Table 6.

Comparison Test for the Hypothesis

Assumptions Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances t-Test for Equality of Means
Significance F 95% Confidence Interval of the Deviation Deviation of Standard Error Deviation of the Mean Significance (2-Tailed df t
Higher Lower
Equality of variances 0.000 21.077 22.66504 15.29496 1.85694 18.98000 0.000 98 10.221
Inequality of variances 22.68906 15.27094 1.85694 18.98000 0.000 64.555 10.221

Figure 1.

Mean Age of Students Participated in the Study

Figure 2.

The Average Scores of Both Control and Experiment Groups