A high prevalence of anxiety in the elderly often leads to decreased quality of life (QOL). A restrictive diet can increase the production of ketone bodies that encourage mood enhancement, neural protection and pain reduction. This study aimed to identify whether Dawood fasting could increase the QOL of the elderly by reducing anxiety.
This research was a quasi-experimental study involving a pretest–post-test control group design. The subjects were pre-elderly and elderly or healthy people aged more than 50, and a consecutive sampling method was employed. The fasting group observed the fast of Dawood, in which they abstained from eating, drinking, or having sexual intercourse from the break of dawn to dusk with the expressed intent to fast every other day. The fast was observed for 22 days (11 fasting days). Anxiety was examined using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HRS-A), while QOL was identified using the Indonesian version of the World Health Organisation Quality of Life (WHOQOL).
A total of 48 respondents participated in this study with 24 respondents observing the fast of Dawood and 24 others not fasting. Results showed that the 22 days of Dawood fast reduced respondents’ complaints about anxiety by 4.37% and was significantly different from the non-fasting group (p=0.001). There was an increase in the QOL of the fasting group (p=0.019), although no significant difference was found when compared to the non-fasting group.
The fast of Dawood reduced anxiety in the pre-elderly and elderly.