Interventions using the Qur’an to promote mental health: a systematic scoping review

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Journal of Mental Health


Background: Accommodating and addressing the beliefs and attitudes of Muslim patients, means designing culturally competent mental health services. Practicing Muslims around the world often use the Qur’an when seeking guidance for health. Aims: The aim of this study was to identify interventions using the Qur’an as a promoting factor for mental health. Methods: The paucity of academic literature in the area meant a systematic scoping review of the evidence was appropriate. Conducting the search for peer-reviewed evidence used six databases, searching for grey literature used Google Scholar, for evidence published up to 29th December 2022. Analysis used the Patterns, Advances, Gaps, Evidence for practice and Research recommendations (PAGER) framework for scoping reviews to report the findings clearly and accessibly. Results: Out of 1590 articles from databases and 35 from other sources (n = 1625), 79 full-text articles meeting the inclusion criteria were retrieved. Further assessment for eligibility, excluded 35 articles; leaving 44 studies in the final analysis. Interventions identified Salah and supplicant praying, recitation, reading, memorizing and listening to the Qur’an to reduce anxiety, depression and stress and increase quality of life and coping. There was a paucity of evidence from Western countries utilising the Qur’an to support mental health and wellbeing, suggesting a lack of cultural accommodation. Interventions tended to be mostly biomedical and excluded exploration of psychosocial factors such as the effect of social support. Conclusions: Future research could utilise the Qur’an for Muslim patients, integrating it into routine health care interventions and delivery platforms and more closely relating to Islamic lifestyles. This aims to promote mental health and wellbeing, working towards the WHO 2013-2030 MHAP building mental health and psychosocial support capacity and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, good health and wellbeing, by 2030.

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