Professors’ Attitudes Toward Considering Spirituality and Spiritual Counseling and Training During Medical Education Among Medical Students: A Qualitative Study

  •  Golnaz Mazaheri Nejad Fard    
  •  Ali Asghar Asgharnejad Farid    
  •  Neda Shahvaroughi Farahani    
  •  Zeinab Ghaempanah    
  •  Mohammad Reza Pirmoradi    


Background and aim: Spirituality is considered as one of the dimensions of health, along with physical, psychological and social health which includes an element of excellence and transcendence. However, it is unclear whether contemporary medical professors in Iran still considering this concept in their training program. This study assesses the professors' attitude toward considering spirituality and spiritual counseling and training during medical education among medical students.

Materials and methods: This is a qualitative study with conventional content analysis method. 43 participants, who were main stakeholders in medical education were selected by convenience sampling. Data were collected using structured interviews from September to October 2017, which continued until data saturation.

Ethical consideration: the principles of ethics and integrity in the research, citation and literature analysis were taken into consideration.

Finding: Three main themes and their categories were extracted from analysis of data. The themes are (1) helping to solve the students' spiritual problems and challenges (2), Psycho-spiritual characteristics of medical student (3), training spiritual concepts.

Conclusion: A majority of professors acknowledged the use of spirituality concepts in medical education. It seems that implementation of such programs requires attention to facilitating factors and challenges proposed by those involved.

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