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Religions 2016, 7(3), 25; doi:10.3390/rel7030025

Spiritual Assessment within Clinical Interventions Focused on Quality of Life Assessment in Palliative Care: A Secondary Analysis of a Systematic Review

Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Via Pastore 1, Genoa 16132, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Academic Editors: Fiona Timmins and Wilf McSherry
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 1 March 2016 / Published: 7 March 2016
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Abstract

One of the most crucial palliative care challenges is in determining how patients’ needs are defined and assessed. Although physical and psychological needs are commonly documented in patient’s charts, spiritual needs are less frequently reported. The aim of this review was to determine which explicit, longitudinal documentation of spiritual concerns would sufficiently affect clinical care to alleviate spiritual distress or promote spiritual wellbeing. A secondary analysis of a systematic review originally aimed at appraising the effectiveness of complex interventions focused on quality of life in palliative care was conducted. Five databases were searched for articles reporting interventions focused on QoL including at least two or more QoL dimensions. A narrative synthesis was performed to synthesize findings. In total, 10 studies were included. Only three studies included spiritual wellbeing assessment. Spirituality tools used to assess spiritual wellbeing were different between studies: Hospital QoL Index 14; Spiritual Needs Inventory; Missoula-Vitas QoL Index; and the Needs Assessment Tool: Progressive Disease-Cancer. Only one study reported a healthcare professional’s session training in the use of the QoL tool. Two out of three studies showed in participants an improvement in spiritual wellbeing, but changes in spiritual wellbeing scores were not significant. Overall patients receiving interventions focused on QoL assessment experienced both improvements in their QoL and in their spiritual needs. Although spiritual changes were not significant, the results provide evidence that a spiritual need exists and that spiritual care should be appropriately planned and delivered. Spiritual needs assessment precedes spiritual caring. It is essential that interventions focused on QoL assessment in palliative care include training on how to conduct a spiritual assessment and appropriate interventions to be offered to patients to address their spiritual needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: palliative care; spiritual care; complex intervention; quality of life palliative care; spiritual care; complex intervention; quality of life
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Catania, G.; Bagnasco, A.; Zanini, M.; Aleo, G.; Sasso, L. Spiritual Assessment within Clinical Interventions Focused on Quality of Life Assessment in Palliative Care: A Secondary Analysis of a Systematic Review. Religions 2016, 7, 25.

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