Original Research

The dhikr and the mental health of the elderly in Aceh, Indonesia

Sufyan Anwar, Siti M.F. Siregar, Teuku Alamsyah, Teuku Muliadi, Marniati Marniati, Khairunnas Khairunnas
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 29 | a2456 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v29i0.2456 | © 2024 ufyan Anwar, Siti M.F. Siregar, Teuku Alamsyah, Teuku Muliadi, Marniati Marniati, Khairunnas Khairunnas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2023 | Published: 15 February 2024

About the author(s)

Sufyan Anwar, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Teuku Umar, Aceh Barat, Indonesia
Siti M.F. Siregar, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Teuku Umar, Aceh Barat, Indonesia
Teuku Alamsyah, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Teuku Umar, Aceh Barat, Indonesia
Teuku Muliadi, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Teuku Umar, Aceh Barat, Indonesia
Marniati Marniati, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Teuku Umar, Aceh Barat, Indonesia
Khairunnas Khairunnas, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Teuku Umar, Aceh Barat, Indonesia

Abstract

Background: The ageing population in Indonesia is increasing. However, biological and social changes and declines may trigger mental health problems among the elderly. Existing data show that the prevalence of mental health problems (depression) among the elderly in Indonesia is above 15%.

Aim: This study aims to investigate the relationship between the Majelis Zikir (dhikr assembly) and the mental health of the elderly.

Setting: The research was conducted in Aceh Barat District, Aceh Province, Indonesia.

Methods: This study uses a retrospective cohort design. The study sample consists of individuals aged 60 years or older. The total sample size was 114 (57 exposed and 57 unexposed groups). The research instrument was in the form of a questionnaire.

Results: The respondents had an average age of 67.61 years, with more females (63.2%), more educated (67.5%), more unemployed (71.1%) and 61.4% felt that their income was sufficient. The analysis showed that the relative risk value of members of the dhikr assembly was 1.857 (95% CI: 1.266–2.724) and showed a significant relationship between the dhikr assembly and mental health.

Conclusion: Dhikr, as one of the forms of religious activities in Islam, has a positive role in older people’s mental health. Elderly members of the dhikr assembly are likelier to achieve better mental health.

Contribution: The findings in this study can assist healthcare professionals and policymakers in their efforts to maintain and improve the mental health of the elderly through dhikr.


Keywords

aged; dhikr; mental well-being; remembrance; religious practice

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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