A review of spirituality as applied to nursing

Int J Nurs Stud. 1999 Apr;36(2):117-25. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7489(99)00007-3.


In this paper a review of spirituality as applied to nursing is carried out. In doing so, it is shown that the holistic understanding of spirituality has been derived almost exclusively from the Christian theological tradition. Whilst recognizing the importance of this tradition, the relatively unknown element, that is, the biological basis of spirituality as advanced by empirical research on spiritual awareness is brought to the debate in this review. Following the review, an operational definition of spirituality embracing its biological roots is provided to highlight its significance to nursing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Holistic Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Psychological Theory
  • Psychophysiology
  • Religion and Medicine*