Main Article Content

The role of spirituality in specialist psychiatry: A review of the medical literature

ABR Janse van Rensburg
CPH Myburgh
CP Szabo
M Poggenpoel


A review of the international medical literature was undertaken on the role of spirituality in the discipline of psychiatry, within the context that a perceived change is taking place in the health care environment in South Africa. Revitalized interest in spirituality was evident from the literature partly because Western societies have, through the migration of people, become more heterogeneous in recent years. The literature concurred that spirituality must be incorporated into the current approach to the practice and training of psychiatry, but within the professional scope of the discipline, while all faith traditions and belief systems should be regarded equally. Beyond South Africa, it is envisaged that the review has implications for the practice of psychiatry in Africa.

Keywords: Spirituality; Practice and training; Psychiatry; Medical literature; Qualitative inquiry