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

Austin, Philip, MACLEOD, RODERICK, SIDDALL, PHILIP JOHN, 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: 24 Feb 2023 13:43

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