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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 8913870, 9 pages
Research Article

Spirituality Concept by Health Professionals in Iran: A Qualitative Study

1Academy of Medical Sciences of Islamic Republic of Iran, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1443813444, Iran
2Nursing & Midwifery School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1467664961, Iran
3Department of Mental, Social Health and Drug Abuse, Ministry of Health, Tehran 1919973361, Iran

Received 8 February 2016; Revised 12 April 2016; Accepted 15 June 2016

Academic Editor: Martin Offenbaecher

Copyright © 2016 Nadereh Memaryan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. For years, researchers have sought to provide a clear definition of spirituality and its features and consequences, but the definitions provided of this concept still lack transparency. The present qualitative research was conducted to clarify this concept within the religious-cultural context of Iran. Materials and Methods. The present conventional qualitative content analysis was conducted with an inductive approach. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with 17 spiritual health experts and activists selected through purposive sampling. Results. Three themes emerged from the analysis of the data, including (1) the structure of spirituality, (2) defects in the conceptualization of spirituality, and (3) spirituality in practice, which are explained in this paper with their relevant subthemes and codes. The definition which this study proposes for this concept is that “spirituality is the sublime aspect of human existence bestowed on all humans in order for them to traverse the path of transcendence that is closeness to God (Allah).” Conclusion. The definition provided by this study is similar to the previous definitions of this concept in its main part (transcendence) and in incorporating a God-centered view of spirituality within the context of an Islamic society. This definition has implications for health services’ education, research, and practice in similar societies.