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Hospice nurses’ perspectives of spirituality

Journal title
Journal of clinical nursing
Publication year
Tiew, L. H.; Kwee, J. H.; Creedy, D. K.; Chan, M. F.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore Singapore hospice nurses’ perspectives of spirituality and spiritual care. DESIGN: A descriptive, cross-sectional design was used. BACKGROUND: Spiritual care is integral to providing quality end-of-life care. However, patients often report that this aspect of care is lacking. Previous studies suggest that nurses’ neglect of this aspect of care could be attributed to poor understanding of what spirituality is and what such care entails. This study aimed to explore Singapore hospice nurses’ perspectives about spirituality and spiritual care. METHODS: A convenience sample of hospice nurses was recruited from the eight hospices in Singapore. The survey comprised two parts: the participant demographic details and the Spirituality Care-Giving Scale. This 35-item validated instrument measures participants’ perspectives about spirituality and spiritual care. RESULTS: Sixty-six nurses participated (response rate of 65%). Overall, participants agreed with items in the Spiritual Care-Giving Scale related to Attributes of Spiritual Care; Spiritual Perspectives; Spiritual Care Attitudes; and Spiritual Care Values. Results from general linear model analysis showed statistically significant main effects between race, spiritual affiliation and type of hospice setting, with the total Spiritual Care-Giving Scale score and four-factor scores. CONCLUSIONS: Spirituality was perceived to be universal, holistic and existential in nature. Spiritual care was perceived to be relational and centred on respecting patients’ differing faiths and beliefs. Participants highly regarded the importance of spiritual care in the care of patients at end-of-life. Factors that significantly affected participants’ perspectives of spirituality and spiritual care included race, spiritual affiliation and hospice type. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Study can clarify values and importance of spirituality and care concepts in end-of-life care. Accordingly, spirituality and care issues can be incorporated in multi-disciplinary team discussions. Explicit guidelines regarding spiritual care and resources can be developed.

Research abstracts