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The Ability of Hospital Staff to Recognise and Meet Patients’ Spiritual Needs: A Pilot Study

AUSTIN, PHILIP DANIEL and MACLEOD, RODERICK and SIDDALL, PHILIP JOHN and MCSHERRY, Wilfred and EGAN, RICHARD (2016) The Ability of Hospital Staff to Recognise and Meet Patients’ Spiritual Needs: A Pilot Study. Journal For The Study of Spirituality, 6 (1). pp. 20-37. ISSN 2044-0243 (Print), 2044-0251 (Online) (In Press)

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Abstract or description

Objectives: We conducted an online cross-sectional survey to determine the understanding of spirituality and spiritual care among clinical and non-clinical staff caring for people with chronic and terminal conditions
Background: As health-care moves towards a more person-centred approach, spiritual care has become more important in patients’ care. Recent evidence shows positive associations between addressing patient spiritual needs and health outcomes.
Methods: We administered an adapted Spirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale (SSCRS), used by the Royal College of Nursing, to hospital and community-care staff (n=191) in Sydney, Australia. This survey examines perceptions of spiritual care and participant abilities to meet patients’ spiritual needs.
Results: The response rate to the SSCRS survey was 84 of 191 eligible participants (44%). Agreement was high on items describing talking to and observing patients and their loved-ones to identify spiritual needs (mean–90%). However agreement was low concerning items describing the use of data collection tools and talking with colleagues to identify patients’ spiritual needs (mean–43%). Participants recognised patients’ spiritual needs (mean-86%), but when asked if they were able to meet these spiritual needs, only 13% (n-11) stated they were always able to do so. Hence, there was strong agreement on actions for guidance and support for staff dealing with patients’ spiritual and religious issues (n-71, 85%) and that spiritual care education and training is required (n-64, 76%).
Conclusion: We have identified strong agreement of the importance of delivering spiritual care but uncertainty in the ability to recognise and meet spiritual needs of patients by clinical and non-clinical hospital staff. Our results also show that spiritual care training for hospital staff is now required. Therefore, evidence-based models of spiritual care education and training require further study.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Nursing and Midwifery
Depositing User: Wilfred MCSHERRY
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 14:03
Last Modified: 11 May 2016 08:24

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