Comparison of the effectiveness of grief counseling and god-oriented spiritual counseling on death anxiety and perceived spirituality in individuals with COVID-19 grief
Keywords:God-Oriented Spiritual Counseling, Death Anxiety, Perceived Spirituality
BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, grief and bereavement have been the most prevalent psychological problems experienced. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of grief counseling and God-oriented spiritual counseling on death anxiety and spirituality in people with COVID-19 grief.
METHODS: The present quasi-experimental study was conducted with a pretest-posttest design, a control group, and follow-up. The population consisted of all inhabitants of Shahr-e-Rey who had lost a member of their family due to COVID-19 in 2021. Participants (n = 51) were selected through purposive sampling based on their acceptance to participate in the study and the inclusion criteria, and were randomly assigned to 2 experimental groups (n = 34) and 1 control group (n = 17). Data were collected using Templer’s Death Anxiety Scale (DAS) and the Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS) in the pretest, posttest, and follow-up stages. The collected data were analyzed in SPSS software using repeated measures ANOVA.
RESULTS: The results showed that both methods of intervention were effective in reducing death anxiety and increasing perceived spirituality. However, God-oriented spiritual counseling was more effective in reducing death anxiety and increasing perceived spirituality compared to grief counseling (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The results strongly support the effectiveness of grief counseling and God-oriented spiritual counseling on death anxiety and perceived spirituality. Policymakers and mental health experts can use both counseling approaches (based on cognitive-behavioral therapy and complex bereavement therapy) in designing individual and community-oriented interventions related to bereavement, provided they pay attention to the needs of the target community.
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