Experience and views of academic psychiatrists on the role of 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

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The importance of having to consider the role of spirituality in health, mental health and psychiatry in South Africa has in particular been emphasized by recent legislation on African traditional health practice. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the views and experience of local psychiatrists regarding the role of spirituality in South African specialist psychiatric practice and training. Method: This study is an explorative, descriptive, contextual, phenomenological and theory-generating, qualitative investigation. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with individual academic psychiatrists affiliated to a local university were conducted as primary data source. Measures to ensure trustworthiness included credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability. Results: Awareness of spirituality, "mindfulness" and an open-minded approach about spirituality should, according to participants, be facilitated in psychiatric practice and training. Six themes were identified through open coding. Discussion: All participants, disregarding of their own views on spirituality and religion, agreed, that under certain conditions, spirituality must be incorporated into the current bio-psycho-social approach in the local practice and training of specialist in psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
JournalRevista de Psiquiatria Clinica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Interviews
  • Practice and training
  • Psychiatry
  • Qualitative inquiry
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental Health


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