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Self-reported Frequency of Nurse-Provided Spiritual Care

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Self-reported Frequency of Nurse-Provided Spiritual Care

Elizabeth Johnston Taylor et al. Appl Nurs Res.

Abstract

Aim: To describe how frequently RNs provide 17 spiritual care therapeutics (or interventions) during a 72-80h timeframe.

Background: Plagued by conceptual muddiness as well as weak methods, research quantifying the frequency of spiritual care is not only methodologically limited, but also sparse.

Methods: Secondary analysis of data from four studies that used the Nurse Spiritual Care Therapeutics Scale (NSCTS). Data from US American RNs who responded to online surveys about spiritual care were analyzed. The four studies included intensive care unit nurses in Ohio (n=93), hospice and palliative care nurses across the US (n=104), nurses employed in a Christian health care system (n=554), and nurses responding to an invitation to participate found on a journal website (n=279).

Results: The NSCTS mean of 38 (with a range from 17 to 79 [of 85 possible]) suggested respondents include spiritual care therapeutics infrequently in their nursing care. Particularly concerning is the finding that 17-33% (depending on NSCTS item) never completed a spiritual screening during the timeframe. "Remaining present just to show caring" was the most frequent therapeutic (3.4 on a 5-point scale); those who practiced presence at least 12 times during the timeframe provided other spiritual care therapeutics more frequently than those who offered presence less frequently.

Conclusion: Findings affirm previous research that suggests nurses provide spiritual care infrequently. These findings likely provide the strongest evidence yet for the need to improve spiritual care education and support for nurses.

Keywords: Nurses; Nursing assessment; Spiritual therapies; Spirituality; Therapeutics.

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