Special Issue "Selected Papers from Spirituality in Healthcare Conference 2017 “Creating Space for Spirituality in Healthcare”"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Fiona Timmins

School of Nursing and Midwifery, Spirituality Interest Group, Trinity College Dublin, 24 D'Olier Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +35318963699
Interests: spirituality; healthcare education; professional Issues in nursing
Guest Editor
Prof. Wilf McSherry

1 Professor in Nursing, School of Health and Social Care, Staffordshire University, Blackheath Lane, Stafford, ST18 0AD, UK
2 The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, England, UK
3 Part-time Professor at VID University College, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 44 (0) 7983981931
Interests: dignity in care, spirituality and spiritual care, ageing and dementia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will focus on a range of papers aimed at exploring the concept of spirituality in healthcare.

  1. The overall focus of the Special Issue will be to highlight presenters’ achievements at the third international conference hosted by the School of Nursing and Midwifery and Spirituality Research and Innovation Group, Trinity College Dublin on 22 June 2017. Presenters at the conference are invited to submit papers. This will enable them to elaborate on their oral presentations and disseminate their ideas to a wider audience.
  2. The scope of the Special Issue will include narrative/discussion papers, research papers and innovations from across a range of disciplines.
  3. This issue will contribute to existent literature on spirituality in healthcare.
  4. All papers will be subjected to peer review.

Prof. Dr. Fiona Timmins
Prof. Dr. Wilf McSherry
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • spirituality
  • health
  • healthcare

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Protocol for a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial to Compare the “Taste & See” Programme—A Church-Based Programme to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food—With a Wait-List Control
Religions 2018, 9(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030088
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: Obesity is strongly associated with poor mental-health. Spiritual and religious wellbeing is associated with improved mental well-being and reduced emotional eating. “Taste & See”, a church based programme to help develop a healthy relationship with food has been successfully tested for [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Obesity is strongly associated with poor mental-health. Spiritual and religious wellbeing is associated with improved mental well-being and reduced emotional eating. “Taste & See”, a church based programme to help develop a healthy relationship with food has been successfully tested for feasibility in the UK but an adequately powered randomised controlled trial is needed to test efficacy. This paper reports on the protocol for such a trial; (2) Method: A cluster, randomised controlled trial where Christian churches (any denomination) are the unit of randomisation. 150 overweight adults will be recruited from approximately 15 churches (clusters) in the UK, each church (cluster) will recruit approximately 10 participants. Churches will be randomised 2:1 to either begin the “Taste & See” programme immediately or in 10 weeks’ time. Data on eating habits, mental and spiritual health will be collected online before and after the intervention and control period and follow-up will continue until 2 years; (3) Implication of Results: Should the programme prove effective it will provide strong clinical evidence of the role of churches in improving the health and well-being of those struggling with food and weight issues. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nurses’ Understanding of Spirituality and the Spirituality of Older People with Dementia in the Continuing Care Setting
Religions 2018, 9(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020050
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
This research paper was presented at the Third International Spirituality in Healthcare Conference 2017—‘Creating Space for Spirituality in Healthcare’ at Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin. 22 June 2017. The number of older people living with dementia in Ireland is rising. Dementia [...] Read more.
This research paper was presented at the Third International Spirituality in Healthcare Conference 2017—‘Creating Space for Spirituality in Healthcare’ at Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin. 22 June 2017. The number of older people living with dementia in Ireland is rising. Dementia is prevalent among those residing in the continuing care setting. Nurses have a professional obligation to provide person centred, holistic care, to which spiritual care is a core element, yet often do not. As there are no guidelines in Ireland for spiritual care provision it is open to personal interpretation and application. This study was the first in Ireland to explore how spiritual care is understood by nurses in the context of older people living with dementia in a public, rural, continuing care setting. A qualitative descriptive design was utilized. Following purposive sampling, eight semi structured interviews were conducted in a rural Irish community hospital among registered nurses caring for older people living with dementia. A conceptual framework developed from the findings of a literature review, as well as this research study’s aim and objectives framed the interview schedule and data analysis. Data analysis utilized Newell and Burnard (2011) Thematic Content Analysis. Ethical approval was granted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Six key themes emerged from the study—1. Understandings of Spirituality, 2. Assessing spiritual need, 3. Providing spiritual care, 4. The impact of spirituality on quality of life, 5. Barriers to spiritual care and how these are addressed, and finally 6. The needs of staff. This paper presents and discusses the findings of the first theme ‘Understandings of Spirituality’ and its two sub-themes, 1. ‘The nurse’s own understanding of spirituality’ and 2. ‘The nurses’ understanding of spirituality and older people living with dementia.’ It is evident from the findings that there exists a variety of responses with regards to the nurses’ own understanding of the concept spirituality and spirituality for older people living with dementia. Participants placed emphasis on person-centred approaches to understanding and providing for the needs of care recipients’ in this area of care. Most participants acknowledged the positive impact of spiritual care on quality of life for older people living with dementia. Indications for practice suggest the need to develop suitable evidence based professional, person-centred frameworks, guidelines and educational standards for nurses which better equip them to understand spirituality and how this area of need can be properly assessed in partnership with the recipient of nursing practice in the continuing care setting to ensure comprehensive holistic, person-centred practice. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of a Tai Chi Intervention to Promote Well-Being in Healthcare Staff: A Pilot Study
Religions 2018, 9(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020035
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Whilst healthcare professions are already considered one of the most stressful occupations, workplaces are becoming busier, and the potential for workplace absenteeism and burnout has intensified. There is growing evidence that the mind–body practice of Tai Chi, which originated in China as a [...] Read more.
Whilst healthcare professions are already considered one of the most stressful occupations, workplaces are becoming busier, and the potential for workplace absenteeism and burnout has intensified. There is growing evidence that the mind–body practice of Tai Chi, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health-related problems, such as stress and anxiety, and that regular practice helps to significantly improve wellbeing, attention, focus, and resilience. This intervention provided 12 sessions of Tai Chi for a group of 12 multidisciplinary healthcare workers and was general wellbeing was measured pre- and post-intervention. Using a mixed methods research design, it was discovered that there were statistically significant gains in well-being during this timeframe with results indicating a strong case for further roll out of the program to a larger pool and more extensive study. Full article
Open AccessArticle How is Chaplaincy Marginalised—By Our Faith Communities and by Our Institutions and Can We Change It?
Religions 2018, 9(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010024
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper reviews the issues confronting chaplaincy/spiritual care in the 21st century. It looks at how faith communities are changing their view of chaplaincy as well how institutions respond. The paper looks at two qualitative studies and what can be learned from them [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the issues confronting chaplaincy/spiritual care in the 21st century. It looks at how faith communities are changing their view of chaplaincy as well how institutions respond. The paper looks at two qualitative studies and what can be learned from them in confronting the questions raised at the beginning. It concludes with the question of how the evidence base can be expanded to make chaplaincy/spiritual care more relevant over the next few years. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Carrying Hope; Pre-Registration Nursing Students’ Understanding and Awareness of Their Spiritual Needs from Their Experiences in Practice: A Grounded Theory Study
Religions 2017, 8(12), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120272
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Spirituality is integral to health and wellbeing and a fundamental element of nursing care. Nonetheless, evidence suggests that spirituality is a frequently ignored aspect of nursing education and care. From 2008 to 2010 a Glaserian grounded theory design was used to explore and [...] Read more.
Spirituality is integral to health and wellbeing and a fundamental element of nursing care. Nonetheless, evidence suggests that spirituality is a frequently ignored aspect of nursing education and care. From 2008 to 2010 a Glaserian grounded theory design was used to explore and explain pre-registration nursing students’ personal understanding of their own spirituality and the relationship between experiences in clinical practice and spiritual awareness. While there is evidence that examines relevance of providing spiritual care to service users, at that time, minimal research has been undertaken to examine spiritual needs in pre-registration nursing students. A theory of carrying hope emerged from the findings to explain how pre-registration nursing students resolve clinical experiences with spiritual awareness. The findings identified that pre-registration nursing students’ awareness of spirituality can be explained in three main Basic Social Processes (BSPs): struggling, safeguarding and seeking. This study highlights the extreme personal challenge pre-registration nursing students experience as a result of their experiences in clinical practice and the impact this has upon their spiritual awareness. Recommendations from this study include the implementation of a model of pastoral care for tutors to support spiritual needs of during transition from student to registration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Children Describe the Fruits of Meditation
Religions 2017, 8(12), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120261
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
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Abstract
Using an interdisciplinary approach and a phenomenological, hermeneutic, mystagogical methodology, this paper explores how children describe the deep fruits of meditation in their lives. Seventy children, aged 7 to 11, from four Irish primary schools were interviewed; all had engaged in meditation as [...] Read more.
Using an interdisciplinary approach and a phenomenological, hermeneutic, mystagogical methodology, this paper explores how children describe the deep fruits of meditation in their lives. Seventy children, aged 7 to 11, from four Irish primary schools were interviewed; all had engaged in meditation as a whole-school practice for at least two-years beforehand. The study sought to elicit from children their experience, if any, of the transcendent in meditation. It concludes that children can and do enjoy deep states of consciousness and that meditation has the capacity to nourish the innate spirituality of the child. It highlights the importance of personal spiritual experience for children and supports the introduction of meditation in primary schools. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spirituality and Dignity of Thai Adolescents Living with HIV
Religions 2017, 8(12), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120257
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Adolescents are a key asset and resource for the social and economic development of any country, with the potential to make a significant contribution to their families, communities and countries. Healthy and educated adolescents are important. However, there are still significant [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Adolescents are a key asset and resource for the social and economic development of any country, with the potential to make a significant contribution to their families, communities and countries. Healthy and educated adolescents are important. However, there are still significant rates of death, illness and disease among adolescents in some countries, where HIV is one of the most prevalent causes of death in this group. Adolescents living with HIV may experience and encounter social restrictions and physiological limitations. Therefore, this investigation explored whether the concepts of spirituality and dignity had any relevance to participants sense of meaning and purpose and whether these had any impact upon their health and well-being (2) Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was used involving twenty-two adolescents living with HIV attending one regional hospital in Southern Thailand. One to one interviews and descriptive diaries were used to collect the data and thematic analysis enabled the identification of attributes of spirituality and dignity. (3) Results: The findings revealed that spirituality and dignity were present in the lives of Thai adolescents living with HIV expressed in the main category of living life responsibly. This comprised of six themes: (a) Understanding the disease and accepting the truth about life, (b) Maintaining hope for a cure, (c) Focusing on life’s purposes, (d) Making life choices, (e) Caring for oneself and (f) Responsibility towards other. (4) Conclusions: The findings provide helpful insights for parents, nurses, and other health professionals supporting adolescents living with HIV to obtain a holistic, dignified approach to care that includes attention to the spiritual dimension. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spiritual/Religious Coping of Women with Breast Cancer
Religions 2017, 8(11), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8110254
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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Abstract
This research aimed to evaluate the level of Spiritual/Religious Coping (SRC) of women with breast cancer. This is a quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional study. A total of 94 mastectomized women who participated in the study were enrolled in a rehabilitation center of a higher [...] Read more.
This research aimed to evaluate the level of Spiritual/Religious Coping (SRC) of women with breast cancer. This is a quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional study. A total of 94 mastectomized women who participated in the study were enrolled in a rehabilitation center of a higher education institution of São Paulo. Data were collected from October 2013 to June 2014 using a questionnaire with sociodemographic, clinical, and spiritual/religious data, stressor stimulus associated with breast cancer, and the SRCOPE-Short Scale. All participants used SRC, 76.6% at high/very high level, and 23.4% at medium level; positive SRC (mean 3.41; standard deviation 0.59) was more used than negative SRC (mean 1.27; standard deviation 0.40), confirmed by the NSRC/PSRC ratio (mean 0.38; standard deviation 0.14). The SRC proved to be an important coping strategy in stress situations experienced by women with breast cancer and helpful in coping with the disease and the consequences of the treatments. Full article
Open AccessArticle How a Model of Communication Can Assist Nurses to Foster Hope When Communicating with Patients Living with a Terminal Prognosis
Religions 2017, 8(10), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8100227
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract
Nurses play a central role in joint decision-making and person-centred care, whereby care is focused on the needs of an individual patient. A key part of person-centred care is the way nurses engage with patients because good communication can impact on a person’s [...] Read more.
Nurses play a central role in joint decision-making and person-centred care, whereby care is focused on the needs of an individual patient. A key part of person-centred care is the way nurses engage with patients because good communication can impact on a person’s spiritual wellbeing, particularly in relation to their ability to have hope. The way nurses communicate can be even more pertinent for people living with a terminal prognosis as the issues discussed can in themselves significantly influence a person’s spiritual wellbeing. This paper combines contemporary research on how health professionals can foster hope in patients living with a terminal prognosis with The Awareness Context Theory described by Glaser and Strauss in 1965. A model of communication is then used to demonstrate how the research on hope and The Awareness Context Theory can be applied to practice. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Spirituality and Health: A Middle Eastern Perspective
Religions 2018, 9(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020033
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Previous spirituality studies have mostly been conducted in a Western context (Moberg 2002; Koenig et al. 2012). However, an increasing number of studies are originating from Middle Eastern countries (Koenig et al. 2012). There is a need to review the current status of [...] Read more.
Previous spirituality studies have mostly been conducted in a Western context (Moberg 2002; Koenig et al. 2012). However, an increasing number of studies are originating from Middle Eastern countries (Koenig et al. 2012). There is a need to review the current status of Middle Eastern research to identify priorities for future research. A search was conducted in two electronic databases: CINAHL and Medline. A final sample of 28 articles was included in the review. Eighteen articles reported on quantitative studies and ten reported on qualitative studies. The majority of previous research has been conducted in Iran (n = 16) and Jordan (n = 6). A total of 3096 participants were included in the studies ranging from 2004 to 2017. Two studies were randomised controlled trials. Most of the qualitative studies aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the concept of spirituality from a Muslim-Arabic perspective. Qualitative findings have conceptualised spirituality as meaning in life, connection, peace and transcendence. In conclusion, there are both differences and similarities between Middle Eastern and Western research on spiritualty and health. Further exploration is warranted to include comparative studies between patient and nurse populations in Western societies and in the Middle East. Full article
Open AccessReview Spirituality in Nursing: An Overview of Research Methods
Religions 2017, 8(10), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8100226
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
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Abstract
Spirituality has been widely considered important for patients’ health and for healthcare practice and is related to connectedness, meaning in life, and transcendence. Research concerning spirituality is growing rapidly, and the implementation of spiritual care should be based on evidence. This literature review [...] Read more.
Spirituality has been widely considered important for patients’ health and for healthcare practice and is related to connectedness, meaning in life, and transcendence. Research concerning spirituality is growing rapidly, and the implementation of spiritual care should be based on evidence. This literature review aims to describe the methods that have been used in nursing research focusing on spirituality. The electronic search on databases through EBSCOhost identified 2091 citations, and a total of 231 studies were included. The methods used in research on spirituality in nursing are mostly quantitative (52.4%), but some are qualitative (42.8%) and mixed (4.8%). Regarding the quantitative research, most studies are observational (90.9%), and these are mainly descriptive (82.7%) and correlational (17.3%). Most studies used a cross-sectional design (98.7%), and few used longitudinal design (1.3%). The qualitative research is descriptive (39.4%), phenomenological (26.3%), and grounded theory (14.1%). Research on spirituality in nursing is based on both main paradigms (quantitative and qualitative), but also on mixed methods. Studies have mainly been conducted using cross-sectional designs when compared to longitudinal designs. The latter seem to constitute a gap in nursing knowledge and evidence regarding the changes of spirituality over time, which is particularly important for nurses’ delivery of spiritual care. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessBrief Report ‘Something Drew Me In’: The Professional and Personal Impact of Working with Spirituality in Addiction Recovery
Religions 2018, 9(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030068
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
This research addresses the impact of working with spirituality from the perspective of the addiction worker with five separate interviews conducted with people who have been working in the area of addiction for ten years or more. Interview transcripts were analysed using qualitative [...] Read more.
This research addresses the impact of working with spirituality from the perspective of the addiction worker with five separate interviews conducted with people who have been working in the area of addiction for ten years or more. Interview transcripts were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Three themes emerged, the findings of which indicate that there is an impact on the addiction worker when spirituality is part of the recovery process. The themes that emerged are (A) Being Constructive (B) Productivity and (C) Managing Therapeutic Ruptures. The findings pose important implications for training and supervision of people involved in addiction work in that there needs to be an openness and awareness around spirituality whether the worker believes in it or not. The findings show that when spirituality is part of the recovery process, it enables the addiction worker to deal with and manage all issues that arise with the person with the addiction, as well as enhancing the work and life of the worker. Most striking across the five participant’s transcripts was their ability to engage in the difficult work of addiction along with the opportunity that the participants have for personal and professional growth in their work and in their own spiritual life. Full article
Open AccessConference Report Christian Spirituality in Eating Disorder Recovery
Religions 2018, 9(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020061
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
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Abstract
Eating disorders are some of the most severe and destructive of all psychological conditions. They are associated with restricted capacities in cognitive, emotional, physical, and spiritual development. This paper provides an examination of the practical application of Christian spirituality as a force for [...] Read more.
Eating disorders are some of the most severe and destructive of all psychological conditions. They are associated with restricted capacities in cognitive, emotional, physical, and spiritual development. This paper provides an examination of the practical application of Christian spirituality as a force for recovery from an eating disorder. Specifically, it expounds the transformative potential in the spiritual qualities of hope, trust, acceptance, surrender, and courage underpinning engagement with evidence-based therapeutic models of care in eating disorder recovery. Full article
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