1. In this study, an Islamic religion-based intervention termed “remembrance and seeking Allah’s forgiveness intervention”(RSAFI) significantly reduced levels of anxiety in women and depression in men compared to control.
2. Additionally, participants reported improvement in their general health following the intervention.
Evidence Rating Level: 3 (Average)
Emerging literature has demonstrated the effectiveness of religion-based interventions in treating mental illnesses. Muslims experience anxiety and depression differently than other populations and may rely on religion-based interventions for treatment. Since previous studies have not adequately assessed its efficacy, the present randomized controlled trial (RCT) sought to investigate the efficacy of an Islamic religion-based intervention (RSAFI) among Muslim patients in Malaysia.
The present single centre RCT included 62 patients (n=55.5% female) from a target population of 400 patients in Malaysia in 2020. Patients were selected using convenience sampling and included if they scored highly on depression and anxiety scales. They were subsequently divided by gender into 2 groups. Women who suffered from anxiety were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n=15) or a control group (n=15). Men who suffered from depression were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n=15) or a control group (n=17). Anxiety and depression were measured using the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale and Beck Depression Scale, respectively. Participants completed 30 sessions of RSAFI, which focused on moral and religious concepts. The control groups received the energy path program provided by the center. Data was analyzed using the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
Results demonstrated that RSAFI significantly reduced levels of anxiety in women and depression in men compared to the typical care control groups. Furthermore, participants reported improvement in their general health following the intervention. However, the study was limited by the restriction of anxiety and depression to women and men respectively, as well as the small sample size. Nonetheless, the present study demonstrated evidence that religious interventions may play a role in improving the mental health of Muslim men and women.
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