Document Type: Research Paper
Farabi Hospital, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Iran
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
Psychology Department, Payamnoor University, Kermanshah, Iran
Introduction: Multiple studies have noted the positive effect of fasting on mental health improvement. The present study was conducted to determine the effect of fasting on mental health in the general population of Kermanshah, Iran. Methods: In this analytical research, one-group pretest-posttest design was used for the evaluation of 110 residents of Kermanshah city. General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) with four subscales was utilized in order to assess the subjects’ mental health. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16 and paired t-test. Results: There was a significant difference between pre- and post-test results in terms of general health score (t= 3.138, P= 0.002), i.e., fasting could increase the population’s general health. There was a significant positive relationship between fasting and four subscales of general health including somatic symptoms (t=2.138, P=0.035), insomnia/anxiety (t=2.587, P=0.011), and social dysfunction (t=2.627, P=0.010). However, fasting had no significant effect on severe depression and suicidal tendencies (t=1.700, P=0.092). Conclusion: The obtained results showed that fasting has a positive effect on mental health in the general population of Kermanshah. Thus, more attention should be paid to fasting and its impact on people’s mental health.