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An Online Survey of Nurses’ Perceptions of Spirituality and Spiritual Care

MCSHERRY, Wilfred and Jamieson, S (2011) An Online Survey of Nurses’ Perceptions of Spirituality and Spiritual Care. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 20 (11-12). pp. 1757-1767. ISSN 0962-1067

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Abstract or description

Background: There is a professional requirement for nurses to achieve competence in the delivery of spiritual care and to assess and meet the spiritual needs of their patients. Recently the area of spirituality has come under criticism bringing into question the role of the nurse with regards to the provision of spiritual care.

Aim: This paper presents the preliminary descriptive findings from an online survey commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to ascertain members’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care.

Design: A descriptive online survey was conducted of all RCN members to obtain their perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care in an attempt to identify what action they feel is required with regards to this aspect of nursing practice.

Method: An online survey consisting of a five part questionnaire was developed incorporating the Spirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale (SSCRS). Members were asked to complete the survey during a 3 week period in March 2010.

Results: Overall, 4054 RCN members responded, making this probably the largest UK survey ascertaining nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care. Descriptive statistics, frequencies and percentages were used to identify key findings. A Cronbach’s Alpha of .80 was obtained for the SSCRS. The preliminary analysis confirms that nurses across the full health economy in the United Kingdom consider spirituality to be a fundamental aspect of nursing.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that nurses recognise that attending to the spiritual needs of patients enhances the overall quality of nursing care. However, despite all the attention given to the spiritual dimension the majority of nurses still feel that they require more guidance and support from governing bodies to enable them to support and effectively meet their patients’ spiritual needs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McSherry, W. and Jamieson, S. (2011), An online survey of nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20: 1757-1767. which has been published in final form at]. 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 15:41
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:58

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