Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. In this study, mean post-test scores of spiritual sensitivities increased significantly in the intervention group.

2. Furthermore, the control group did not have a statistically significant post-test difference in spiritual sensitivity.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Spirituality represents a significant component of health, especially in early childhood. Play is a strategy that has shown to improve children’s social skills and creativity; however, little is known about its relationship with the development of spirituality. As a result, the present randomized controlled trial (RCT) sought to evaluate the effects of meaning-centered play on children’s spiritual sensitivity.

The present two-group RCT included 120 of 150 eligible children from May 2016 to January 2018 in Iran. Children were recruited using convenience sampling and were eligible if they were 10-11 years old and had no serious physical or mental health problems. Children were excluded if they failed to attend one or more sessions of the intervention. The intervention consisted of twelve 45-minute sessions for 6 weeks and consisted of a program aimed at familiarizing children with spiritual concepts. The control group had the current trend of the center’s plays and programs. Spiritual sensitivity was measured using the Spiritual Sensitivity Scale for Children (SSSC) before and after the intervention. Data was analyzed using Chi-square, independent-sample t test, Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.

Results demonstrated that following the intervention, the mean post-test scores of spiritual sensitivities increased significantly in the intervention group. Furthermore, the control group did not have a statistically significant post-test difference in spiritual sensitivity. However, this study was limited by the self-reporting nature of the study tool. Nonetheless, the accurate game design, inclusion of multiple experts, and the quality of the tool used to measure spiritual sensitivity strengthen the results of the study.

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