Spiritual caregiving at the juncture of religion, culture, and state

Can J Nurs Res. 2004 Dec;36(4):148-69.


In response to the increasing social diversity of health-care recipients, nurse scholars have turned their attention to developing theoretical foundations for culturally responsive and spiritually sensitive nursing practice. However, despite the potential overlap between these 2 areas, there has been little exploration of the intersections between culture and spirituality. The authors present the findings of an interpretive descriptive pilot study that examined the contexts of intercultural spiritual caregiving from the perspectives of nurses and chaplains. The findings point to the need for health-care professionals to cultivate an internal space in which to provide spiritual care and to seek spiritual points of connection amidst diverse faith and cultural traditions. The contexts of current practice environments, as well as the social setting of a pluralistic and secular state, shape the dynamics of spiritual caregiving. The findings invite postcolonial, critical analyses of contemporary conceptions of spirituality and spiritual caregiving, and call for a rethinking of the trend towards de-emphasizing creedal religions in the quest for a universal spiritual experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Nursing Care*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Spirituality*