A concept analysis of spirituality

Br J Nurs. 2006 Jan 12-15;15(1):42-5. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2006.15.1.20309.


According to the holistic model of care, nurses must consider their patients' spiritual needs in order to provide total patient care (Govier, 2000). There is growing awareness of the contribution that spiritual wellbeing can make to a patient's actual and perceived health and quality of life (Chibnall et al, 2002; Mount, 2003). Spirituality and spiritual care has gained much momentum in the current nursing arena. Draper and McSherry (2002) assert that it has emerged from the shadows to occupy a prominent part of contemporary health care. Moreover, within the nursing profession, a focus on individuals as biopsychosocial-spiritual beings is gaining recognition. This notion is based on the premise that there should be balance of mind, body and spirit for the maintenance of health in a person (Stoll, 1989; Stooter, 1995). However, there is evidence that many nurses, including nurse educators, have difficulty with the concept of spirituality and consequently, may neglect this aspect of care (Greenstreet, 1999; McSherry, 2000). The aim of this article is to contribute towards clarifying the concept of spirituality.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Spirituality*