Role of spiritual beliefs on disability and health-related quality of life in acute inpatient rehabilitation unit

L. Maggi, P. E. Ferrara, I. Aprile, G. Ronconi, A. Specchia, C. Nigito, E. Amabile, A. Rabini, D. B. Piazzini, C. Bertolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The influence of spirituality and religious beliefs on health-related quality of life and disability in the rehabilitation field is discussed in literature. Aim: To describe the role of spiritual belief on functional recovery and health-related quality of life in acute inpatient rehabilitation ward. Design: Observational cross sectional study. Setting. Inpatients clinic of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, University Hospital. Population: One hundred and four patients admitted to an inpatient acute rehabilitation ward, after a neurological or orthopedic disease. Methods: Anamnestic and demographic data were reported on a standardized form. The Royal Free Interview for Spiritual and Religious Beliefs (RFI) and Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS) were performed on admission (TO). SF-36 item Short Form Health Survey Questionnaire (SF36) and the Barthel index (BI) were performed on admission (TO) and on discharge (Tl). Results: Statistical analysis was performed on 102 patients with spiritual belief divided in strong (55 cases) and weak (47 cases) spiritual belief. Change from baseline (T1-T0) of SF36 domains between groups showed a significant higher improvement in Physical Role and Physical Composite Score in the weak belief group than in the strong belief group. The latter presented an improvement (without statistical significance) in almost every emotional score. We found no significant difference in change from baseline of Barthel index between the groups. Conclusion: Strength of spiritual belief seems to influence some aspects of quality of life of acute inpatient in the rehabilitation setting. It seems that patients with less spiritual belief showed more improvement in physical role, after acute rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • Inpa
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation
  • Religion
  • Spirituality
  • Tients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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