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The qualitative findings from an online survey investigating nurses perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care

MCSHERRY, Wilfred and Jamieson, S (2013) The qualitative findings from an online survey investigating nurses perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 22. pp. 3170-3182. ISSN 0962-1067

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Abstract or description

Aim: This paper presents the qualitative findings from an online survey investigating nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care.

Background: The role and place of spirituality within nursing has been contested by academics and wider society. One argument posited is supporting patients with their spiritual needs is not the responsibility of nurses. This is despite a clear professional requirement for nurses to achieve competence in the delivery of spiritual care.

Design: The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) conducted an online survey of its membership to ascertain their perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care identifying current practice.

Method: This paper presents the findings from the final part of the survey that asked respondents to use a free text facility to add comments on the subjects of spirituality and spiritual care.

Results: Overall, 4054 RCN members responded, of these 2327 provided additional comments. These comments were analysed using keyword and content/thematic analysis. Five broad themes emerged: 1) theoretical and conceptual understanding of spirituality 2) fundamental aspects of nursing 3) notion of integration and integrated care 4) education and professional development; 5) religious belief and professional practice. Findings suggest that nurses have diverse understandings of spirituality and the majority consider spirituality to be an integral and fundamental element of the nurses’ role.

Conclusion: Generally nurses had a broad, inclusive understanding of spirituality considering this to be ‘universal’. There was some uncertainty and fear surrounding the boundaries between personal belief and professional practice. Respondents advocated formal integration of spirituality within programmes of nurse education.
Relevance to clinical nursing: The concept of spirituality and the provision of spiritual care are now recognised as fundamental aspects of the nurse’s role. There is a need for greater clarity between personal and professional boundaries to enable nurses to feel more confident and competent in delivering spiritual care.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McSherry, W. and Jamieson, S. (2013), The qualitative findings from an online survey investigating nurses' perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care. J Clin Nurs, 22: 3170-3182. doi:10.1111/jocn.12411, which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jocn.12411. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions."
Faculty: School of Health and Social Care > Nursing
Depositing User: Wilfred MCSHERRY
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 12:20
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2020 15:56
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6167

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