The Role of Gratitude in Spiritual Well-being
This research study from 2015 reports the role of gratitude in improving health outcomes for people with cardiovascular disease; explaining how gratitude mediates improvements in physical and mental health observed in people practicing spiritual practices.
This is the abstract for the paper:
Spirituality and gratitude are associated with wellbeing. Few if any studies have examined the role of gratitude in heart failure (HF) patients or whether it is a mechanism through which spirituality may exert its beneficial effects on physical and mental health in this clinical population. This study examined associations between gratitude, spiritual wellbeing, sleep, mood, fatigue, cardiac-specific self-efficacy, and inflammation in 186 men and women with Stage B asymptomatic HF (age 66.5 years ±10). In correlational analysis, gratitude was associated with better sleep (r=-.25, p<0.01), less depressed mood (r=-.41, p<0.01), less fatigue (r=-.46, p<0.01), and better self-efficacy to maintain cardiac function (r=.42, p<0.01). Patients expressing more gratitude also had lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers (r=-.17, p<0.05). We further explored relationships among these variables by examining a putative pathway to determine whether spirituality exerts its beneficial effects through gratitude. We found that gratitude fully mediated the relationship between spiritual wellbeing and sleep quality (z=−2.35, SE=.03, p=.02) and also the relationship between spiritual wellbeing and depressed mood (z=−4.00, SE=.075, p<.001). Gratitude also partially mediated the relationships between spiritual wellbeing and fatigue (z=−3.85, SE=.18, p<.001), and between spiritual wellbeing and self-efficacy (z=2.91, SE=.04, p=.003). In sum, we report that gratitude and spiritual wellbeing are related to better mood and sleep, less fatigue, and more self-efficacy, and that gratitude fully or partially mediates the beneficial effects of spiritual wellbeing on these endpoints. Efforts to increase gratitude may be a treatment for improving wellbeing in HF patients’ lives and be of potential clinical value.
The pdf of the article can be downloaded from here: https://www.chi.is/resource/gratitude-spiritual-well-being