Spiritual health of oncology patients. Nurse and patient perspectives

Cancer Nurs. 1992 Feb;15(1):1-8.


Although nurses describe their professional uniqueness as care of the whole person, the spiritual needs of patients often have received little attention. Therefore, this descriptive, cross-sectional survey was designed to investigate the spiritual health of oncology patients and how well oncology nurses assess spiritual health. To achieve these aims, parallel nurse (r = 0.92) and patient (r = 0.89) Spiritual Health Inventories (SHI's) were distributed to a convenience sample of 40 nurse-inpatient pairs from two hospitals. Twenty three patients with primary lung cancer and twenty seven registered nurses responded (n = 50). Analysis of SHI scores of the 21 nurse-patient pairs indicated that these nurses inaccurately assessed their patients' spiritual health (p less than 0.05), and that patient and nurse subjects preferred different spiritual caregivers. Patient respondents reported a normatively high level of spiritual health, positively related both to age (p less than 0.02) and physical well-being (p less than 0.014). Afro-American and Caucasian nurse respondents rated the spiritual health of patients higher than nurses of Asian origin (p less than 0.006).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / nursing
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Assessment / standards*
  • Oncology Nursing / standards*
  • Pastoral Care / standards*