Special Issue "Selected Papers from Spirituality in Healthcare Conference 2015 “Sowing the Seeds”"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2015)

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 approaches to and ideas about spirituality in its broadest context.

(1)   The overall focus of the Special Issue will be to show case papers that were accepted at the first international conference hosted by the School of Nursing and Midwifery and Spirituality Interest Group, Trinity College Dublin in June 2015. All presenters at the conference will be invited to submit. This Special Issue will enable presenters to elaborate more on their presented papers and provide detail of their work in a more permanent way following the conference. This also permits important aspects of the conference to be shared and disseminated with an international audience.

(2)   The scope of the Special Issue will include narrative/discussion papers, papers that describe research projects and also small scale studies and local initiatives from across a range of disciplines.

(3) This issue will fit quite nicely within the existing literature on spirituality in healthcare as it will encompass papers on spirituality in the context of healthcare delivery internationally.

Prof. Fiona Timmins
Prof. 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.

References:
Attard, J. Baldacchino, D.R. and Camilleri, L. Nurses' and midwives' acquisition of competency in spiritual care: A focus on education Educ.
Today (2014) epub ahead of print available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2014.04.015
Cockell, N. and Mc Sherry, W. (2012) Spiritual care in nursing: an overview of published international research Journal of Nursing Management 20, 8, 958–969.
Holloway, M., Adamson, S. McSherry, W. and Swinton, J. (2011) Spiritual Care at the End of Life: a systematic review of the literature London, Department of Health
Koenig, H. (2013) Spirituality in Patient Care: Why, How, When, and What Templeton Foundation Press, London.
Koenig, H. G. (2012) Commentary: Why Do Research on Spirituality and Health, and What Do the Results Mean? Journal of Religion and Health, 51, 2, 460–467.
Lundberg P.C. and Kerdonfag, P. (2010 ) Spiritual care provided by Thai nurses in intensive care units. Journal of Clinical Nursing 19(7-8):1121-8.
Lundmark M. (2006) Attitudes to spiritual care among nursing staff in a Swedish oncology clinic Journal of Clinical Nursing 15,7, 863-74.
McSherry, W. and Ross, L. (2002) Dilemmas of spiritual assessment: considerations for nursing practice Journal of Advanced Nursing 38 (5) 479-488.
McSherry, W. Draper, P. and Kendrick, D. (2002) The construct validity of a rating scale designed to assess spiritual care International Journal of Nursing Studies 39 (7) 723-734.
McSherry, W. (2006a) The principal components model: a model for advancing spirituality and spiritual care within nursing and health care practice Journal of Clinical Nursing 15, (7) 905-917.
McSherry, W. (2006b) Making Sense of Spirituality in Nursing Practice London: Jessica Kingsley.
McSherry, W. and Jamieson, S. (2011) An online survey of nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care Journal of Clinical Nursing 20 (11-12) 1757-1767.
Ozbasaran, F., Ergul, S., Temel ,A.B., Aslan ,G.G. and Coban A. (2011) Turkish nurses' perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care Journal of Clinical Nursing 20,21-22, 3102-10.
Paley, J. (2008) Spirituality and secularization: nursing and the sociology of religion Journal of Clinical Nursing 17 (2) 175-186.
Pesut, B. (2008) Spirituality and Spiritual Care in Nursing Fundamentals Textbooks Journal of Nursing Education 47, (4) 167-173
Pesut, B. and Sawatzky, R. (2006) To describe or prescribe: assumptions underlying a prescriptive nursing process approach to spiritual care Nursing Inquiry 13 (2): 127–134.
Plakas, S., Cant, B. and Taket, A. (2009) The experiences of families of critically ill patients in Greece: A social constructionist grounded theory study. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing 25, 1, 10-20.
Ronaldson, S., Hayes, L, Aggar, C., Green, J. and Carey, M. (2012) Spirituality and spiritual caring: nurses’ perspectives and practice in palliative and acute care environments Journal of Clinical Nursing ;21 (15-16):2126-35.
Royal College of Nursing (RCN) (2010) Patients missing out on spiritual care, say nurses available at http://www.rcn.org.uk/newsevents/press_releases/uk/patients_missing_out_on_spiritual_care,_say_nurses accessed 16th June 2011
Swinton, J. and McSherry, W. (2006) Editorial: critical reflections on the state of spirituality-in-nursing Journal of Clinical Nursing 15 (7) 801–802.
Tanyi, R..A., Werner, J.S., Recine, A.C. and Sperstad, R.A. (2006) Perceptions of incorporating spirituality into their care: a phenomenological study of female patients on hemodialysis Nephrology Nursing Journal 33(5)532-8.
Timmins, F. (2013) Nurse’s Views of Spirituality and Spiritual Care Provision in the Republic of Ireland Journal for the Study of Spirituality 3, 2,121–137.
Van Leeuwen, L., Tiesinga, J., Post, D. and Jochemsen, H. (2006) Spiritual care: implications for nurses' professional responsibility Journal of Clinical Nursing 15 (7) 875–884.
Van Leeuwen, R., Tiesinga, L.J., Middel, B., Post ,D. and Jochemsen, H. (2009)
An Instrument to measure nursing Competencies in Spiritual Care: validity and reliability of the Spiritual Care Competence Scale (SCCS) Journal of Clinical Nursing 18, 20, 2857-2869.
Weathers, E. McCarthy, G. and Coffey, A. (2014) Concept analysis of spirituality: an evolutionary approach Nursing Forum in press.
Wilding, C., Muir-Cochrane, E. and May, E. (2006) Treading lightly: Spirituality issues in mental health nursing International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 15 (2) 144–152.

Keywords

  • spirituality
  • health
  • healthcare

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Special Issue “International Conference of Spirituality in Healthcare. Sowing the Seeds”—Trinity College Dublin 2015
Religions 2016, 7(11), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7110126
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
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Abstract
This is an editorial of a Special Issue concerning the International Conference of Spirituality in Healthcare held in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland (ROI), in June 2015 [1].[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Spirituality Self-Care Practices as a Mediator between Quality of Life and Depression
Religions 2016, 7(5), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050054
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 25 April 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop a midrange theory, building on Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory (SCDNT) to include constructs of religion, spirituality, and spiritual self‑care practices. This mid-range theory, White’s theory of spirituality and spiritual self-care (WTSSSC), was developed and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to develop a midrange theory, building on Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory (SCDNT) to include constructs of religion, spirituality, and spiritual self‑care practices. This mid-range theory, White’s theory of spirituality and spiritual self-care (WTSSSC), was developed and tested as part of a larger study of African American patients with heart failure (HF). The aim of the study was to determine if spiritual self-care practices were mediating the relationship between depression and quality of life for African Americans diagnosed with heart failure. Participants in this study included 142 African Americans diagnosed with HF who were recruited at the clinic where they were being treated. Four instruments were used to measure spiritual self-care practices (White’s Spiritual Self-Care Practice Scale (WSPSCPC)), depression symptomology (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)), quality of life (World Health Organization QOL (WHOQOL-Bref)), and personal characteristics. Results of the analysis were statistically significant, indicating that spirituality self-care practices were mediating the relationship between depression and quality of life for African American individuals diagnosed with HF. As the population ages and chronic illness becomes more common, nurses need to promote the use of spirituality self-care practices to help patients maintain their well-being. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle History, Culture and Traditions: The Silent Spaces in the Study of Spirituality at the End of Life
Religions 2016, 7(5), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050053
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 22 April 2016 / Accepted: 4 May 2016 / Published: 9 May 2016
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Abstract
Recent increase in the number of studies on spirituality manifests growing recognition of the importance of spirituality, as well as mounting interest in studying spirituality in healthcare. Most studies on spirituality in end of life care focus on identifying specific features of spirituality [...] Read more.
Recent increase in the number of studies on spirituality manifests growing recognition of the importance of spirituality, as well as mounting interest in studying spirituality in healthcare. Most studies on spirituality in end of life care focus on identifying specific features of spirituality and often represent an individualistic understanding of spirituality. They seldom engage in a historical–cultural exploration of the contextual meanings of those features of spirituality. This paper aims to demonstrate the absence of contextual factors in studying spirituality at the end of life and to highlight the growing recognition of the importance of history, culture and traditions as resources to enrich our understanding of spirituality. An exploration of the concept of spirituality, an overview of the trajectory of the study of spirituality and a review of existing methodological stances reveal the silent space in current approaches to understanding spirituality at the end of life. Recognition of the importance of these contextual factors in understanding spirituality is growing, which is yet to influence the conceptualization and the conduct of spirituality research. Contextual understandings of spirituality that incorporate insights from the history, culture and traditions of specific contexts can inform effective means for providing spiritual support in clinical practice. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Spiritual Care: The Nurses’ Experiences in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Religions 2016, 7(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7030027
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2016 / Published: 9 March 2016
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Abstract
Physical aspects of disease management are often more evident than those related to spirituality or spiritual care. Spirituality may appear more crucial in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) when patients are experiencing serious illness or end-of-life situations. This paper describes the meaning of [...] Read more.
Physical aspects of disease management are often more evident than those related to spirituality or spiritual care. Spirituality may appear more crucial in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) when patients are experiencing serious illness or end-of-life situations. This paper describes the meaning of spirituality according to nurses who had worked in PICUs and how they provide spiritual care to children and their families. It is an exploratory research using a qualitative approach, including interviews with eleven PICU nurses. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis; two themes were identified: meanings of spirituality and religiosity according to nurses, and the provision of spiritual care to children in the PICU and their families. The interviewed nurses recognized the importance and value of spiritual care and are aware that spiritual needs are considered to be of significantly less importance than physical treatments. Spiritual care was mainly focused on the children’s families; the nurses justified the absence of spiritual care to children, based on lack of time and children’s age and level of consciousness. These results highlight a deficiency in spiritual care in PICUs and demonstrate the need for improved knowledge and demonstrate the need to not only raise awareness of the spiritual dimension of children, adolescents, and their families, but also to enhance discussion and improve general knowledge on the importance of spirituality in the treatment regimen to provide effective holistic care. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effect of the “Spiritual Support” Intervention on Spirituality and the Clinical Parameters of Women Who Have Undergone Mastectomy: A Pilot Study
Religions 2016, 7(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7030026
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
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Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the spiritual support intervention on spirituality and the clinical parameters of women who have undergone mastectomy. This is a pilot study of a randomized clinical trial. The spiritual support intervention was composed of meditation, guided [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the spiritual support intervention on spirituality and the clinical parameters of women who have undergone mastectomy. This is a pilot study of a randomized clinical trial. The spiritual support intervention was composed of meditation, guided imagery, music, and respiratory relaxation. The outcomes were: spirituality, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. A total of 27 patients were recruited for the study (intervention group, n = 13; control group, n = 14) (Clinical Trials: NCT 01866670/CAE: 00896312.0.0000.5393). The intervention helped patients with breast cancer to increase expression of their spirituality (p = 0.040) and it also decreased heart rate on the first (p = 0.038) and third day (p = 0.017). There was a difference in oxygen saturation on the second day in the control group (p = 0.039). Patients reported that their participation in the research was positive. This intervention had an effect on the sample of women who had undergone mastectomy. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Utilization of Spirituality and Spiritual Care in Nursing Practice in Public Hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Religions 2016, 7(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7030023
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 10 February 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
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Abstract
This study explored the views of professional nurses in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa regarding the role of spirituality and spiritual care in nursing practice and investigated whether professional nurses utilize spiritually based care in nursing practice. A cross-sectional descriptive design using multistage random sampling [...] Read more.
This study explored the views of professional nurses in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa regarding the role of spirituality and spiritual care in nursing practice and investigated whether professional nurses utilize spiritually based care in nursing practice. A cross-sectional descriptive design using multistage random sampling was utilized. Five hundred and fifty questionnaires were distributed to professional nurses between December 2012 and February 2013. A total of 385 participants completed the survey questionnaire, resulting in a 77% response rate. Data was analyzed using SSPS 0.20. The data revealed that nurses see spirituality and spiritual care as an important dimension of nursing practice but need greater preparedness. Nurses need to be effectively prepared to deal with the complexity of providing ethically based personalized spiritual care in an increasingly diverse society. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Exploration of Specialist Palliative Care Nurses’ Experiences of Providing Care to Hospice Inpatients from Minority Ethnic Groups—Implication for Religious and Spiritual Care
Religions 2016, 7(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7020018
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
The aim of this research study was to gain an understanding of nurses’ experiences of providing care to patients from minority ethnic groups within the specialist palliative care inpatient unit of an Irish hospice. Five nurses working in a hospice inpatient unit with [...] Read more.
The aim of this research study was to gain an understanding of nurses’ experiences of providing care to patients from minority ethnic groups within the specialist palliative care inpatient unit of an Irish hospice. Five nurses working in a hospice inpatient unit with experience in providing care to patients from minority ethnic groups were interviewed using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Analysis of the data resulted in the emergence of two distinct constructs, “encountering a landscape of diversity” and “negotiating this landscape”, each one comprising three themes. Findings relating to religion and supporting patients’ religious needs were dominant in four of the six emergent themes—death and dying, acceptance, feeling their way, and being resourceful. The findings presented in this paper highlight the personal and professional challenges facing nurses when providing care in the context of religious diversity. In addition, participants’ descriptions of their endeavours to negotiate the challenges in the context of these differences are identified. By applying these findings in practice, healthcare professionals hold the potential to positively impact the quality-of-life of patients, their families, and their experiences of hospice care in Ireland. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Holistic Health Care and Spiritual Self-Presence
Religions 2016, 7(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010010
Received: 25 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, I present evidence of the developing interest in spirituality in healthcare and treat three questions it raises: (1) what makes a person and a life spiritual so that a strictly medical model of health and care won’t do?; (2) what [...] Read more.
In this paper, I present evidence of the developing interest in spirituality in healthcare and treat three questions it raises: (1) what makes a person and a life spiritual so that a strictly medical model of health and care won’t do?; (2) what is the scope of healthcare?; and (3) what makes care in healthcare ‘spiritual’ precisely? In addressing the first question I attend to the etymological roots of “spiritual” and articulate how the notion of “spiritual” in Pauline biblical texts is being retrieved today in spirituality studies and research but in a way, also, that does not attach it strictly to religious affiliation. In addressing the second question, I highlight the holistic meaning of healthcare by first attending to the etymological roots of health. I then show that adequate healthcare also requires reflection on the notion of the good and illustrate what I mean by interpreting a biblical narrative. In addressing the third question, I draw on lived experience to illustrate how care-providers may need enhanced religious literacy to read and respond to care-seekers irrespective of their own personal beliefs. However, I also argue that what makes care distinctively spiritual in the first instance has less to do with the subject matter of the care—the what of the care—and more to do with how carers act, with, that is, the self-presence of the carers. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Spirit of Logotherapy
Religions 2016, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010003
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to adduce the meaning of Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy and existential analysis—the spirit of logotherapy—in the two-fold sense of its core teachings, as well as its emphasis on the spiritual dimension of the human person. Firstly, [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to adduce the meaning of Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy and existential analysis—the spirit of logotherapy—in the two-fold sense of its core teachings, as well as its emphasis on the spiritual dimension of the human person. Firstly, I situate Frankl’s tri-dimensional ontology—his philosophical anthropology—within a Platonic perspective, asserting that it was Plato who first gave us a picture and model of mental health which he based on the harmony of the disparate parts of the personality—the aim to become One instead of Many, which finds a modern parallel in Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy, which likewise stresses the importance of inner wholeness (an anthropological oneness) despite our ontological differences. Classical Greek philosophers all pointed to the Logos as source of order—to the horizon of meaning-potentials, so I visit the various understandings of this term from the pre-Socratics to Frankl, albeit briefly, to avoid semantic confusion in what is to follow. I then discuss in some detail the exact meaning that logos/spirit has in Frankl’s philosophical conceptualisations. Disorders of logos may be seen in various psychopathologies and pnemopathologies which I go on to consider, highlighting the differences between various terms that are commonly left unclarified. Next, I adumbrate the differences between psychotherapy and logotherapy, which ultimately revolves around the difference between instincts and spirit before demarcating the boundaries between religion (as salvation) and logotherapy (as sanity). The question I pose next is: what exactly constitutes the spiritual in logotherapy, as in life? An example is given to concretise the conceptual considerations previously elucidated before drawing on another distinction, that between “ultimate meaning” and “the meaning of the moment”. The paper concludes with a brief excursus into the work of Ken Wilber by way of enabling us to appreciate and better understand the monumental significance of Frankl’s contribution to the field of transpersonal studies in relation to his refusal to collapse, confuse or conflate the higher dimensions of the person into lower ones. Full article
Open AccessArticle Nurses’ Perceptions of Spirituality and Spiritual Care in Different Health Care Settings in the Netherlands
Religions 2015, 6(4), 1346-1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel6041346
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 27 November 2015
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Abstract
This paper shows similarities and differences in perceptions and competences regarding spirituality and spiritual care of nurses in different health care settings. Research on this specific topic is limited and can contribute towards a nuanced implementation of spiritual care in different nursing care [...] Read more.
This paper shows similarities and differences in perceptions and competences regarding spirituality and spiritual care of nurses in different health care settings. Research on this specific topic is limited and can contribute towards a nuanced implementation of spiritual care in different nursing care settings. Four hundred forty nine nurses in different health care settings completed a questionnaire concerning spirituality and spiritual care, spiritual care competence, and personal spirituality. Respondents reported a generic (instead of more specific) view of spirituality and spiritual care, and they perceived themselves to be competent in providing spiritual care. Compared to nurses in hospital settings, nurses in mental health care and home care have a more generic view of spirituality and spiritual care and report a higher level of competence. Next to this, they perceive themselves more as spiritual persons. Future research is needed to develop further understanding in setting specific factors and their influence on nurses’ views and competence regarding spiritual care. Nursing education and management should consider an emphasis on spiritual competence development related to working settings of nurses. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Spiritual Assessment within Clinical Interventions Focused on Quality of Life Assessment in Palliative Care: A Secondary Analysis of a Systematic Review
Religions 2016, 7(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7030025
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Effect of Prayer on Patients’ Health: Systematic Literature Review
Religions 2016, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010011
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
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Abstract
There is increasing interest regarding prayer in healthcare. Prayer is an activity related to spirituality and religion. Positive outcomes have been identified regarding spirituality in health. This study aims to investigate the effects on patients’ health of using prayer. A systematic literature review [...] Read more.
There is increasing interest regarding prayer in healthcare. Prayer is an activity related to spirituality and religion. Positive outcomes have been identified regarding spirituality in health. This study aims to investigate the effects on patients’ health of using prayer. A systematic literature review was conducted in May 2015 and updated in November 2015. Electronic and international databases were searched and the inclusion criteria were based on PICOS: (Population) patients of any age and any clinical situation, (Intervention) all types of prayer, (Comparison) ordinary care, (Outcomes) any health change, (Study type) randomized clinical trials. Neither timeframe nor limitation in language were considered. A total of 92 papers were identified and 12 were included in the review. Prayer was considered a positive factor in seven studies, and several positive effects of prayer on health were identified: reducing the anxiety of mothers of children with cancer; reducing the level of concern of the participants who believe in a solution to their problem; and providing for the improved physical functioning of patients who believe in prayer. Prayer is a non-pharmacological intervention and resource, and should be included in the nursing holistic care aimed at patients’ well-being. Full article
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Other

Open AccessFeature PaperConference Report Protocol of Taste and See: A Feasibility Study of a Church-Based, Healthy, Intuitive Eating Programme
Religions 2016, 7(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7040041
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
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Abstract
Obesity treatment remains a high global priority. Evidence suggests holistic approaches, which include a religious element, are promising. Most research is from the USA, but recent evidence suggests a need within the UK population. The aim of this study is to explore the [...] Read more.
Obesity treatment remains a high global priority. Evidence suggests holistic approaches, which include a religious element, are promising. Most research is from the USA, but recent evidence suggests a need within the UK population. The aim of this study is to explore the feasibility of running and evaluating a Christian-based, healthy, intuitive-eating programme, in a UK church. This is the protocol of a mixed-methods single-group feasibility study of a ten-week programme. The programme focuses on breaking the “diet and weight regain” cycle using principles from intuitive eating uniquely combined with biblical principles of love, freedom, responsibility, forgiveness, and spiritual need. We will recruit at least ten adult participants who are obese, overweight, or of a healthy weight with problematic eating behaviours. Participants can be from any faith or none. Robust measures of physical, psychological and spiritual outcomes will be used. Results are not yet available. Findings will be used to design a cluster-randomised controlled trial to test efficacy through many churches. If weight reduces by a small amount, there will be substantial benefits to public health. With a strong association between obesity and mental-ill health, a holistic intervention is particularly important. Using churches addresses religious and spiritual health, and uses existing social structures and a voluntary workforce that are sustainable and cost-effective. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperConcept Paper Relational Inquiry—Attending to the Spirit of Nursing Students
Religions 2016, 7(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7030034
Received: 19 December 2015 / Revised: 8 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
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Abstract
The impetus for this paper came from our experiences as learner-teachers of re-considering the epistemological and ontological roots of our undergraduate-nursing curriculum. It began as an earnest dialogue regarding particular aspects of first year undergraduate-nursing theory content, specifically, caring and compassion, self-concept and [...] Read more.
The impetus for this paper came from our experiences as learner-teachers of re-considering the epistemological and ontological roots of our undergraduate-nursing curriculum. It began as an earnest dialogue regarding particular aspects of first year undergraduate-nursing theory content, specifically, caring and compassion, self-concept and nursing identity, spirituality and culture, a simple question—how could we better engage first year nursing students with what they frequently considered to be “abstract” and “soft” concepts? An organic need to be “good teachers” and introduce learners to fundamental concepts in nursing, and have them understand, in meaningful ways, the complexity of “caring and compassion” with respect to what it is that nurses do, think, and enact. To this end, we enlisted Relational Inquiry, as articulated by Gweneth Hartrick Doane and Colleen Varcoe, as a means of creating an epistemological and ontological foundation for our teaching practice in order to better support the development of critically reflective, community orientated, caring relational practitioners. Initially, we thought relational inquiry was an epistemological endeavor and found that it is an ontological undertaking. We discovered that practicing from a relational caring perspective shifted our focus from the content to the student as a developing practitioner and human being. Through the process of re-imagining our teaching practice, we have begun to re-consider the importance of “attending to the spirit” of nursing students. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperDiscussion Holistic Nursing of Forensic Patients: A Focus on Spiritual Care
Religions 2016, 7(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7030031
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
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Abstract
Prisons are a unique context where nurses are required to have specific skills to ensure that prisoners receive the same type of holistic care as anyone else out of prison, including spiritual care. This discussion paper focuses on understanding how nurses deliver spiritual [...] Read more.
Prisons are a unique context where nurses are required to have specific skills to ensure that prisoners receive the same type of holistic care as anyone else out of prison, including spiritual care. This discussion paper focuses on understanding how nurses deliver spiritual care in Italian prisons where there are often limited resources and where organizational priorities hinder the provision of holistic nursing. This paper draws from a previous qualitative research study that we had conducted. In this study, we observed that prison nurses reported that they experienced many difficulties related to the provision of holistic care to prisoners. This was particularly true for spiritual care in vulnerable forensic patients, such as older individuals, and physically and mentally frail prisoners. Prison officers did not allow nurses to just “listen and talk” to their patients in prison, because they considered it a waste of time. The conflict between prison organizational constraints and nursing goals, along with limited resources placed barriers to the development of therapeutic relationships between nurses and prisoners, whose holistic and spiritual care needs remained totally unattended. Therefore, prison organizational needs prevailed over prisoners’ needs for spiritual care, which, while fundamental, are nevertheless often underestimated and left unattended. Educational interventions are needed to reaffirm nurses’ role as providers of spiritual care. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperCase Report Developing Agreed and Accepted Understandings of Spirituality and Spiritual Care Concepts among Members of an Innovative Spirituality Interest Group in the Republic of Ireland
Religions 2016, 7(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7030030
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 19 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
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Abstract
A Spirituality Interest Group (SIG) was set up in in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland (ROI), in March 2013. This paper reports on some of the journey and requirements involved in developing the group. It highlights [...] Read more.
A Spirituality Interest Group (SIG) was set up in in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland (ROI), in March 2013. This paper reports on some of the journey and requirements involved in developing the group. It highlights the essential work of establishing agreed understandings in an objective way in order for the group to move forward with action. These agreed understandings have contributed to the group’s success. Outlining the group’s journey in arriving at agreements may be of use to others considering creating similar groups. One key action taken to determine the suitability of the group’s aims and terms of reference was the distribution of a Survey Monkey to group members (n = 28) in 2014. One early meeting of the group discussed future goals and direction using the responses of this anonymous survey. This paper reports on the results of the survey regarding the establishment of the SIG and the development of a shared understanding of spiritual care among the members. There is consensus in the group that the spiritual care required by clients receiving healthcare ought to be an integrated effort across the healthcare team. However, there is an acceptance that spirituality and spiritual care are not always clearly understood concepts in practice. By developing shared or at least accepted understandings of spirituality and spiritual care, SIG hopes to be able to underpin both research and practice with solid foundational conceptual understanding, and in the process also to meet essential prerequisites for achieving the group’s aims. Full article
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