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In this study we developed the Spiritual Well-being Scale for Thai Buddhist Adults with Chronic Illness, based on Buddhist precepts. The development of a culturally and religiously appropriate measure of spiritual well-being with acceptable validity and reliability is essential for caring for this group of people since measures from the West are not appropriate without significant adaptation. In this paper we also explain some of the important Buddhist precepts that are critical for nurses and other health professionals to understand our perspectives of spiritual well-being.
The study was divided into two phases. In the first phase, the spiritual well-being of Thai Buddhists with chronic illness was defined. Dimensions and items were then generated by a literature review and content analysis of in-depth interviews by seven experts. The preliminary Scale was designed using a Likert scale comprised of 34 items and then tested for content validity by the same seven experts. The content validity index of the 32-item revised draft was 0.97. In the second phase, the psychometric properties of the revised scale were tested by 200 Thai Buddhist adults with chronic illness. To test construct validity, exploratory factor analysis was performed resulting in three dimensions with 13 items that explained 61.67 % of the variance. The alpha coefficient of the entire scale was 0.88.
This study showed that the Scale is well-validated and acceptably reliable for assessing spiritual well-being of Thai Buddhist adults with chronic illness. Thus, it can be used in nursing practice, education, research, and other health disciplines. However, further studies are required to test this Scale in other groups of Thai Buddhist adults with chronic condition who have the same characteristics as the samples in this study to confirm its construct and usability; as well as other age groups, in various regions of Thailand to strengthen the validity and reliability.
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