Objective: To identify the definition and defining characteristics (DCs) of spiritual distress (00066).
Method: Integrative literature review.
Results: Thirty-seven articles and 35 DCs were identified. Spiritual distress as a response to health problems in the context of nursing care is different from an impaired ability to experience and integrate meaning in life.
Conclusions: The diagnosis misses some DCs that emerged from the literature review and lacks comprehensiveness. The domain and the class are reductionist toward its meaning. The taxonomy lacks a spiritual domain to include this and other diagnoses currently dispersed in other domains.
Implications for practice: Further content and clinical validation is needed, as well as an assessment, to determine the diagnosis' class and domain.
© 2013, The Authors. International Journal of Nursing Knowledge © 2013, NANDA International.