• Sharifah Munirah Syed Elias Department of Special Care Nursing, Kulliyyah of Nursing, International Islamic University Malaysia




spiritual reminiscence therapy, reminiscence therapy, older people


Spiritual reminiscence therapy (SRT) is an intervention that involves evaluation of life experiences by sharing memories with others that guide individuals to understand the purpose of their life and future hopes. The effectiveness of SRT more specifically for older people needs greater interrogation before this intervention can be recommended. An integrative review of the literature was conducted to explore this question. The search involved published and unpublished studies using the keywords: spiritual reminiscence OR spiritual life review OR religious life review OR spiritual therapies AND older people OR older adults. The search strategy resulted in 847 studies from the electronic databases. Of the 847 studies, five met the inclusion criteria. Out of these five studies, three were quantitative studies, and two were qualitative studies. The evidence regarding the effectiveness of SRT was limited. Despite limited evidence from the quantitative findings, the qualitative findings suggested that SRT can be a worthwhile intervention for older people. Therefore, there is a need in future research to further understand SRT as an intervention for older people.


Download data is not yet available.


Abolfathi Momtaz, Y., Hamid, T. A., Ibrahim, R., Yahaya, N. & Abdullah, S. S., 2012, Moderating effect of Islamic religiosity on the relationship between chronic medical conditions and psychological well-being among elderly Malays.Psychogeriatrics, 12, 43-53.

Amzat, I. H. & Jayawardena, P., 2016, Emotional Loneliness and Coping Strategies: A Reference to Older Malaysians at Nursing Homes.Journal of Population Ageing, 9, 227-247.

Bulechek, G. M., Butcher, H. K. & Dochterman, J. M., 2008,Nursing Intervention Classification (NIC).St Louis, Mosby.

Conway, M. A. & Pleydell-Pearce, C. W., 2000, The construction of autobiographical memories in the self-memory system. Psychological Review, 107, 261-88.

Coupland, C., Dhiman, P., Morriss, R., Arthur, A., Barton, G. & Hippisley-Cox, J., 2011, Antidepressant use and risk of adverse outcomes in older people: population based cohort study.British Medical Journal 343.

Emery, E. E., 2002,Living history-spiritually...or not? A comparison of conventional and spiritually integrated reminiscence groups. PhD, Bowling Green State University.

Flint, A. J., 2005, Generalised anxiety disorder in elderly patients : epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment options.Drugs Aging, 22, 101-14.

Frazer, C. J., Christensen, H. & Griffiths, K. M., 2005, Effectiveness of treatments for depression in older people. The Medical Journal of Australia, 182, 627-32.

Han, J. & Richardson, V. E., 2010, The Relationship Between Depression and Loneliness Among Homebound Older Persons: Does Spirituality Moderate This Relationship? Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 29, 218-236.

Haque, A., 2008, Culture-bound syndromes and healing practices in Malaysia. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 11, 685-696.

Harris, J. L., 199, Reminiscence: A Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Language Intervention for Older Adults. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 6, 19-25.

Haslam, C., Haslam, S. A., Ysseldyk, R., Mccloskey, L., Pfisterer, K. & Brown, S. G., 2013, Social identification moderates cognitive health and well-being following story- and song-based reminiscence. Aging & Mental Health, 18, 425-434.

Ibrahim, N., 2014, Depression and factors of psychological well-being among Malay, Chinese and Indian elderly women at Rumah Seri Kenangan (RSK), public welfare institutions in Malaysia. Ph.D, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Khairudin, R., Nasir, R., Zainah, A. Z., Fatimah, Y. & Fatimah, O., 2011, Depression, Anxiety and Locus of Control among Elderly with Dementia. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 19, 27-31.

Kim, S. S., Hayward, R. D. & Reed, P. G., 2014, Self-transcendence, spiritual perspective, and sense of purpose in family caregiving relationships: a mediated model of depression symptoms in Korean older adults. Aging & Mental Health, 1-9.

Koenig, H. G., King, D. E. & Carson, V. B., 2012,Handbook of religion and health Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Koenig, H. G., Mccullough, M. E. & Larson, D. B., 2001,Handbook of religion and health, Oxford, New York, New York : Oxford University Press.

Lindsey, P. L., 2009, Psychotropic Medication Use among Older Adults: What All Nurses Need to Know. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 35, 28-38.

Mackinlay, E., 2006,Spiritual growth and care in the fourth age of life / Elizabeth MacKinlay, Philadelphia, Philadelphia : Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Mackinlay, E., 2009, Using Spiritual Reminiscence with a Small Group of Latvian Residents with Dementia in a Nursing Home: A Multifaith and Multicultural Perspective. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 21, 318-329.

Mackinlay, E. & Trevitt, C., 2006,Facilitating spiritual reminiscence for older people with dementia a learning package, New South Wales, National Library of Australia Catalogue in Publication Data.

Mackinlay, E. & Trevitt, C., 2010, Living in aged care: using spiritual reminiscence to enhance meaning in life for those with dementia. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 19, 394-401.

Mackinlay, E. & Trevitt, C., 2012,Finding Meaning in the Experience of Dementia : The Place of Spiritual Reminiscence Work, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Muhamad, M. & Merriam, S. B, Aging and learning in a non-western culture: The case of Malaysia. Proceedings of the 41 st Annual Adult Education Research Conference, 2000. 287-291.

Razali, S. M., Aminah, K. & Khan, U. A., 2002, Religious-Cultural Psychotherapy in the Management of Anxiety Patients. Transcultural Psychiatry, 39, 130-136.

Stanley, M. A., Bush, A. L., Camp, M. E., Jameson, J. P., Phillips, L. L., Barber, C. R., Zeno, D., Lomax, J. W. & Cully, J. A., 2011, Older adults’ preferences for religion/spirituality in treatment for anxiety and depression. Aging & Mental Health, 15, 334-343.

Syed Akil, S. M. & Abdullah, S., Understanding life at the old folks home The 2015 WEI Internationa; Academic Conference Proceedings, 2015 Vienna, Austria. The West East Institute.

Teh, J. K. L., Tey, N. P. & Ng, S. T., 2014, Family support and loneliness among older persons in multiethnic Malaysia. The Scientific World Journal, 2014, 654382.

Webster, J. D., Bohlmeijer, E. T. & Westerhof, G. J., 2010, Mapping the Future of Reminiscence: A Conceptual Guide for Research and Practice. Research on Aging, 32, 527-564.

Wilson, K., Mottram, P. G., Sivananthan, A. & Nightingale, A., 2001, Antidepressants versus placebo for the depressed elderly. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Wu, L. F. & Koo, M., 2015, Randomized controlled trial of a six-week spiritual reminiscence intervention on hope, life satisfaction, and spiritual well-being in elderly with mild and moderate dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.




How to Cite

Syed Elias, S. M. (2019). A REVIEW OF SPIRITUAL REMINISCENCE THERAPY FOR OLDER PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS. Proceedings of the Global Public Health Conference, 1(1), 27–36. https://doi.org/10.17501/globeheal.2018.1104