Defining and Measuring Spirituality in South African Specialist Psychiatry

A. B.R. Janse van Rensburg, M. Poggenpoel, C. P.H. Myburgh, C. P. Szabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To define the meaning of “spirituality” in a South African phenomenological, theory-generating qualitative inquiry, theory construction methodology was used. This refers to the tradition of nursing theory development, where a central core concept identified from the integrated data—in this case, interviews and the literature content—had to be defined. A major focus of the study was to distinguish spirituality from religion. The denotative and connotative meanings of “spirituality” were explored to establish the components for a definition. The attributes of this definition included that spirituality constitutes a “quality”, a “journey”, a “relationship” as well as a “capacity”. While these items derived from this local definition of spirituality can be proposed for inclusion in a questionnaire for measuring spirituality in a South African context, the limits of the scope of the explorative qualitative inquiry from which it was derived must be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1855
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2015


  • Definition
  • Measuring
  • Model construction
  • Psychiatric practice
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Religious Studies


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