Volume 6, Issue 2
Patient care frequently focuses on physical aspects of disease management, with variable attention given to spiritual needs. And yet, patients indicate that spiritual suffering adds to distress associated with illness. Spirituality, broadly defined as that which gives meaning and purpose to a person’s life and connectedness to the significant or sacred, often becomes a central issue for patients. Growing evidence demonstrates that spirituality is important in patient care. Yet healthcare professionals (HCPs) do not always feel prepared to engage with patients about spiritual issues. In this project, HCPs attended an educational session focused on using the FICA Spiritual History Tool to integrate spirituality into patient care. Later, they incorporated the tool when caring for patients participating in the study. This research (1) explored the value of including spiritual history taking in clinical practice; (2) identified facilitators and barriers to incorporating spirituality into person-centred care; and (3) determined ways in which HCPs can effectively utilize spiritual history taking. Data were collected using focus groups and chart reviews. Findings indicate positive impacts at organizational, clinical/unit, professional/personal and patient levels when HCPs include spirituality in patient care. Recommendations are offered.
Bremault-Phillips, S., Olson, J., Brett-MacLean, P., Oneschuk, D., Sinclair, S. et al. (2015). Integrating Spirituality as a Key Component of Patient Care. Religions, 6(2), 476-498.