This study investigated the importance of religious and spiritual beliefs in daily life in explaining prolonged grief disorder (PGD) symptomatology. Participants were 588 bereaved adults who completed a questionnaire. The importance of spiritual beliefs in daily life explained a small to medium, significant 3% of variance in PGD symptoms, but religious beliefs in daily life did not. Individuals who placed moderate importance on spiritual beliefs in their daily life may experience more intense grief.
Cette étude qualitative s’est attachée à décrire les représentations des professionnels vis-à-vis du concept de spiritualité afin de mieux cerner son intégration dans l’accompagnement. La méthodologie retenue repose sur l’organisation de deux focus groups pluriprofessionnels (en institution et au domicile), adjoignant chacun 6 professionnels impliqués dans l’accompagnement en soins palliatifs (2 médecins, 5 infirmiers, 3 aides-soignants, 1 psychologue et 1 interne). Une analyse de contenu a permis de mettre en évidence trois thèmes pivots émanant des focus groups : les représentations de la spiritualité des professionnels ; la place qu’elle occupe dans leur pratique et leurs attentes en matière d’accompagnement spirituel. De par le caractère polysémique qu’elle revêt, la spiritualité est un concept difficile à aborder lors de la rencontre avec le patient pour les professionnels. Cependant, tous soulignent l’importance d’assurer un accompagnement global de la personne en tenant compte de l’ensemble des dimensions de la personne, y compris spirituelle et ce, qu’elle soit religieuse ou non. Proposer à l’autre un espace, une présence, une écoute à cette dimension, si la demande s’en fait sentir, ce sont des attitudes que tendent à suivre les professionnels pour éclairer le cheminement personnel des patients et la mise en sens de ce qu’ils traversent.
BACKGROUND: Spiritual care is integral to palliative care. It engenders a sense of purpose, meaning, and connectedness to the sacred or important and may support caregiver well-being.
AIM: To examine caregivers' spirituality, religiosity, spiritual well-being, and views on spiritual/religious support.
DESIGN: A mixed-methods study across 4 Australian sites, recruiting caregivers of patients with a life expectancy of under 12 months. The anonymous semistructured questionnaire used included research team developed and adapted questions examining religion/spirituality's role and support and views on hospitals supporting spiritual/religious requirements. It additionally included the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being Scale (FACIT-Sp-12).
RESULTS: One hundred nine caregivers participated (47.4% responded). Median spiritual well-being was 30.5 on FACIT-Sp-12. Religious affiliation was associated with higher Faith subscores (P < .001). Spirituality was very important to 24.5%, religiosity to 28.2%, and unimportant to 31.4% and 35.9%, respectively. Caregivers prayed (P = .005) and meditated (P = .006) more following patients' diagnoses, gaining comfort, guidance, and strength. Caregivers whose spiritual/religious needs were met to moderate/full extent by external religious/faith communities (23.8%) reported greater spiritual well-being (P < .001). Hospitals supported moderate/full caregiver spiritual needs in 19.3%. Pastoral care visits comforted 84.4% of those who received them (n = 32) but elicited discomfort in 15.6%. Caregivers also emphasized the importance of humane staff and organizational tone in supporting spiritual care.
CONCLUSIONS: Hospital-based spiritual care providers should seek to identify those who seek pastoral or religiously orientated care. Genuine hospitality of showing concern for the other ensures the varied yet inevitably humanist requirements of the caregiver community are met.
CONTEXT: Although religion and spirituality are important to surrogate decision makers, little is known about the role of religion in decision making regarding life sustaining treatments.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the relationships between dimensions of religion and spirituality and medical treatment decisions made by surrogates.
METHODS: This prospective, observational study enrolled patient/surrogate dyads from three hospitals in one metropolitan area. Eligible patients were 65 years or older and admitted to the medicine or medical intensive care services. Baseline surveys between hospital days 2-10 assessed seven dimensions of religion and spirituality. Chart reviews of the electronic medical record and regional health information exchange 6 months after enrollment identified the use of life sustaining treatments and hospice for patients who died.
RESULTS: There were 291 patient/surrogate dyads. When adjusting for other religious dimensions, demographic, and illness factors, only surrogates' belief in miracles was significantly associated with a lower surrogate preference for DNR status (Adjusted odds Ratio (aOR) 0.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19, 0.78). Among patients who died, higher surrogate intrinsic religiosity was associated with lower patient receipt of life-sustaining treatments within the last 30 days (aOR 0.66, CI 0.45, 0.97). Belief in miracles (aOR 0.30, CI 0.10, 0.96) and higher intrinsic religiosity (aOR 0.70, CI 0.53, 0.93) were associated with lower hospice utilization.
CONCLUSIONS: Few religious variables are associated with end of life preferences or treatment. Belief in miracles and intrinsic religiosity may affect treatment and should be identified and explored with surrogates by trained chaplains or other clinicians with appropriate training.
This study aimed to examine the reliability and validity of a scale to assess the competence of Korean nurses who provide spiritual care for patients with terminal illnesses. The reliability and validity were examined using Cronbach a, item analysis, and exploratory factor analysis. The participants were 248 hospice nurses working at 40 hospices and palliative hospitals in South Korea. The results showed that the reliability was high, as indicated by a Cronbach a of .942. The exploratory factor analysis revealed 6 dimensions (assessment and implementation of spiritual care, professionalization and improvement of the quality of spiritual care, personal support and patient counseling, referral to professionals, attitude toward the patient’s spirituality, and communication) with 27 items. The 6 factors explained 68.20% of the variance in the Korean version of the Spiritual Care Competence Scale. From the results, the Korean version of the Spiritual Care Competence Scale may serve as an appropriate measure for provision of spiritual care for patients with terminal illness. In addition, it may be useful in assessing hospice and palliative nurses’ ability for spiritual care.
Background: Attending to the religious/spiritual (R/S) concerns of patients is a core component of palliative care. A primary responsibility of the chaplain is to conduct a thorough assessment of palliative care patients' R/S needs and resources. Problems with current approaches to spiritual assessment in all clinical contexts, including palliative care, include limited evidence for their validity, reliability, or clinical usefulness; narrative content; and lack of clinical specificity.
Objectives: The aim of our work was to develop an evidence-based, quantifiable model for the assessment of unmet spiritual concerns of palliative care patients near the end of life.
Design: The PC-7 model was developed by a team of chaplains working in palliative care. Phase 1 used literature in the field and the chaplains' clinical practice to identify key concerns in the spiritual care of palliative care patients. Phase 2 focused on developing indicators of those concerns and reliability in the chaplains' rating of them.
Results: Key concerns in the model include the following. Need for meaning in the face of suffering; need for integrity, a legacy; concerns about relationships; concern or fear about dying or death; issues related to treatment decision making; R/S struggle; and other concerns. An approach to scoring the patients' degree of unmet spiritual concerns was adapted from the literature. Assessing cases from the chaplains' practice led to high levels of agreement (reliability).
Conclusion: Using the PC-7 model, chaplains can describe and quantify the key spiritual concerns of palliative care patients. Further research is needed to test its validity, reliability, and clinical usefulness.
The lives of healthy and sick people are structured according to a variety of conceptual matrices. One of these matrixes consists of philosophical, spiritual, and religious convictions, being this especially relevant in the process of the end of life. The objective of the study is to understand the meaning that individuals at the end of life and the relatives of such individuals award spiritual and/or religious beliefs through an examination of caregiver narratives. Multicentric study was developed that used a qualitative design and a phenomenological approach. The study was conducted in the autonomous community of Andalusia, specifically in the provinces of Almeria, Malaga, Seville, Granada, and Huelva. The selection method was purposive sampling. Caregivers who had lost a relative in a period between 2 months and 2 years previously and who were not in a process of pathological grieving were selected for inclusion in the study. The method involved five discussion groups and 41 in-depth interviews, with a total of 87 participants. A change of paradigms is necessary in which, among other elements, the focus of palliative care is centered on the ability to address these spiritual needs, and healthcare professionals are trained to assist in the provision of such care. Another important consideration is the inequality of spiritual supported provided by clergy from various religions. At least in the cultural context of the research, Catholic chaplains were the only institutional figures whose presence was assumed necessary by health organizations. However, the cultural and/or religious diversity in the autonomous community in which the study was conducted is increasingly broad and complex. It appears necessary to incorporate a variety of clergies in health units so that all patients may find support, whether in terms of companionship or celebration.
PURPOSE: Spirituality and religion affect patient health. This topic is often not included in medical resident education. We aimed to evaluate resident knowledge, attitudes, and skill regarding spirituality, religion, and medicine and to develop, implement, and evaluate a curriculum to improve these measures.
METHODS: Internal medicine residents at a large, urban academic center were surveyed to determine their baseline knowledge, attitudes, and skill regarding spirituality and religion (37.4% response rate, n = 46/123). A lecture and discussion-based curriculum was implemented over 1 year, followed by another survey (41.4% response rate, n = 51/123); 2 statistic was used to compare pre- and postsurveys to evaluate the curriculum.
RESULTS: Baseline resident attitudes toward spirituality, religion, and medicine were high with most agreeing chaplains are valuable in patient care (93.5%) and that patient spiritual and religious beliefs can affect health (93.5%). Resident self-reported knowledge and skill were low with few knowing the training chaplains receive (4.3%) or reporting competence taking a spiritual history (15.2%). After the curriculum, resident self-reported knowledge increased regarding the role of chaplains (56.5%-80.4%, P = .011) and the training chaplains receive (4.3%-27.5%, P = .002). No significant postcurriculum change was seen in attitudes or skill.
CONCLUSIONS: Most internal medicine residents have positive attitudes toward spirituality, religion, and medicine. They do not have adequate knowledge or skill to care for patients in this area, however. Implementation of a curriculum in spirituality, religion, and medicine improved resident self-reported knowledge. Future work should focus on revising the curriculum to better improve resident knowledge and skill.
This article studies forgiveness and reconciliation (F/R) in patients with cancer. It focuses on the end of life, when family conflicts resurface and unfinished business challenges patients and causes spiritual distress. Forgiveness and reconciliation may intensify patient-family relationships and facilitate peace of mind and peaceful death. Existing forgiveness models and interventions focus on coping in life, yet no study has examined F/R processes until death. Our mixed-method exploratory study hypothesized that F/R processes occur in phases, repeatedly, and are spurred by approaching death. Three interdisciplinary units at a major Swiss hospital observed 50 dying patients with cancer experiencing severe conflicts with relatives, themselves, and/or with fate/God. Participant observation was combined with interpretative phenomenological analysis and descriptive statistical analysis. A semi-structured observation protocol was developed based on a 5-phase model. The protocol included space for notes (emotions, interventions, effects on dying processes). It was assessed by 20 professionals for 1 year. Analysis was supported by international interdisciplinary experts. We found that conflicts were complex and involved relational, biographical, and spiritual layers. In 62% of patients, F/R processes occurred repeatedly. Many patients died after finding F/R (22 within 48 hours). Patients indicated that imminent death, a mediating third party, acceptance, and experiences of hope motivated them to seek F/R. Although deep relationships may support F/R processes, our limited data on near-death experience/spiritual experiences restrict interpretation. Forgiveness and reconciliation processes oscillate between 5 phases: denial, crisis, experience of hope, decision, and finding F/R. Understanding F/R processes, empathy, hope, and a neutral third party may support patients in seeking forgiveness.
This meta-synthesis aims to synthesize qualitative evidence from primary studies to better understand the experience of the spirituality of parents and its relationship to adapting following stillbirth. Five electronic databases were systematically searched and the quality of 21 eligible studies was critically appraised. A thematic synthesis revealed two analytical themes: (1) Spiritual suffering following stillbirth; (2) Moving through spirituality to adapt to the loss, each encompassing four descriptive themes. The findings can inform a more culturally and spiritually sensitive approach to care, taking into account the parents’ beliefs, folk customs, religion, values, and spiritual needs.
Background: Religion and/or spirituality are important values for many parents of critically ill children; however, how religion and/or spirituality may influence which treatments parents accept or decline for their child, or how they respond to significant events during their child's illness treatment, remains unclear.
Objective: to summarize the literature related to the influence of parents' religiosity or spirituality on decision making for their critically ill child.
Design: Integrative review, using the Whittemore and Knafl approach.
Setting/Subjects: Data were collected from studies identified through PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL plus), Embase, Scopus, and PsychInfo. Databases were searched to identify literature published between 1996 and 2016.
Results: Twenty-four articles of variable methodological quality met inclusion criteria. Analysis generated three themes: parents' religiosity or spirituality as (1) guidance during decision making, (2) comfort and support during the decision-making process, and (3) a source of meaning, purpose, and connectedness in the experience of decision making.
Conclusion: This review suggests that parents' religiosity and/or spirituality is an important and primarily positive influence on their decision making for a critically ill child.
Background: Spirituality is important for many family members of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Clinicians without training in spiritual care experience difficulty identifying when family members are experiencing distress of a spiritual nature.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop a guide to help clinicians working in the ICU identify family members who may benefit from specialized spiritual support.
Design: ross-sectional study.
Setting/Subjects: A national sample of spiritual health practitioners, family members, and ICU clinicians.
Subjects: A panel of 21 spiritual health practitioners participated in a modified Delphi process to achieve consensus on items that suggest spiritual distress among family members of patients in the ICU through three rounds of remote review followed by an in-person conference and a final round of panelist feedback. Feedback on the final set of items was obtained from an end-user group of four family members and six ICU clinicians.
Measurements: A total of 220 items were iteratively reviewed and rated by panelists. Forty-six items were identified as essential for inclusion and developed into a clinical guide, including an introduction (n = 1), definitions (n = 2), risk factors (n = 10), expressed concerns (n = 12), emotions (n = 7) and behaviors (n = 7) that may suggest spiritual distress, questions to identify spiritual needs (n = 6), and introducing spiritual support (n = 1).
Conclusions: We have developed an evidence-informed clinical guide that may help clinicians in the ICU identify family members experiencing spiritual distress.
Spiritual care at the End of Life (EOL) is a "keystone" investment at any Regional Tertiary Acute Care Hospital. Spiritual Care Departments need to demonstrate quality indicators in the provision of spiritual care at an EOL not only for their patients, but to satisfy family expectations of that care for their loved one. A fixed choice survey instrument using a structured interview via telephone was utilized for 202 criterion families who had lost a loved one. Three domains surfaced: (1) Families retained traditional chaplain role expectations of Priestly/Liturgical (78.6%) and Pastoral/Shepherd (67.5%); (2) Expectations of an expanded chaplain role after the EOL (50%); and, (3) Traditional spiritual care services regardless of one's religion or spirituality: Comfort and care, emotional support (96%); active listening (96.5%); the Chaplain as a reminder of God's presence (93.6%); prayer (96%); scripture reading (69.3%); and ritual/sacramental anointing of the sick (71.3%).
OBJECTIVE: Guidelines for palliative and spiritual care emphasize the importance of screening patients for spiritual suffering. The aim of this review was to synthesize the research evidence of the accuracy of measures used to screen adults for spiritual suffering.
METHODS: A systematic review of the literature. We searched five scientific databases to identify relevant articles. Two independent reviewers screened, extracted data, and assessed study methodological quality.
RESULTS: We identified five articles that yielded information on 24 spiritual screening measures. Among all identified measures, the two-item Meaning/Joy & Self-Described Struggle has the highest sensitivity (82-87%), and the revised Rush protocol had the highest specificity (81-90%). The methodological quality of all included studies was low.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: While most of the identified spiritual screening measures are brief (comprised 1 to 12 items), few had sufficient accuracy to effectively screen patients for spiritual suffering. We advise clinicians to use their critical appraisal skills and clinical judgment when selecting and using any of the identified measures to screen for spiritual suffering.
Background: Spiritual distress among family members of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) has not been well characterized. This limits clinicians' understanding of how to best offer support.
Objective: To explore how family members experience spiritual distress, and how it is recognized and support offered within the ICU context.
Design: A qualitative study involving interviews and focus groups between May 2016 and April 2017.
Setting/Subjects: Family members of ICU patients (n = 18), spiritual health practitioners (n = 10), and an interprofessional group of clinicians who work in the ICU (n = 32).
Measurements: Transcribed data were analyzed using interpretive description.
Results: The experience of spiritual distress was variably described by all three groups through concepts, modulators, expressions and manifestations, and ways in which spiritual distress was addressed. Concepts included loss of meaning, purpose and connection, tension in beliefs, and interconnected distress. Modulators were related to the patient and family context, the ICU context, and the relational context. Expressions and manifestations were unique and individual, involving verbal expressions of thoughts and emotions, as well as behavioral manifestations of coping. Clinical strategies for addressing spiritual distress were described through general principles, specific strategies for discussing spiritual distress, and ways in which spiritual support can be offered.
Conclusions: Our study provides a rich description of how spiritual distress is experienced by family members of ICU patients, and how spiritual health practitioners and clinicians recognize spiritual distress and offer support. These findings will help inform clinician education and initiatives to better support families of critically ill patients.
OBJECTIVE: The EORTC QOL Group has recently completed the cross-cultural development and validation of a standalone measure of spiritual well-being (SWB) for cancer patients receiving palliative care: the EORTC QLQ-SWB32. The measure includes four scales: Relationships with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationship with Someone or Something Greater, and Existential, plus a Global-SWB item. This paper reports on further research investigating relationships between sex, age and SWB for patients receiving palliative care for cancer-adjusting for other socio-demographic, clinical and function variables, including WHO performance status and EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL emotional and physical function scores.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data from the validation study were used, and chi-square, independent t tests, Mann-Whitney U tests and multiple regression analyses applied.
RESULTS: The study included 451 participants with advanced and incurable cancer, from 14 countries. Adjusted analyses found better scores for female participants than males on three of the four EORTC QLQ-SWB32 subscales; Relationship with others, Relationship with Someone or Something Greater and Existential plus Global-SWB. Older age was positively associated with better Relationship with Self.
CONCLUSION: The findings from our participants suggest that it might be beneficial if healthcare providers seeking to address patients' spiritual needs pay particular attention to male patients, younger patients and those with poor emotional functioning.
Background: Despite the importance patients place on religion and spirituality, many patients with advanced diseases report that their religious and spiritual needs are not met by their health care team, and many nonchaplain clinicians feel unprepared to address religious and spiritual issues in their practice.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a one-day workshop on spiritual care for nonchaplain clinicians who provide care to elderly long-term care patients.
Methods: Clinician participants (N = 68) were given a pre-survey at the beginning of the workshop, a post-survey at the conclusion of the workshop, and a three-month follow-up survey to evaluate their comfort in engaging in spiritual issues before and after the workshop. An average ability score of 13 items in the survey was calculated as well as an average comfort score, which was an average of three items in the survey. Ability scores and comfort scores were analyzed using a pairwise t-test, comparing pre- versus post-workshop and post- versus three-month scores.
Results: Overall average scores for clinicians' self-reported perceived ability in engaging in issues around spirituality with patients and their families increased from before the workshop to the post-workshop and three months later. Participants' self-perceived comfort increased from before the workshop to immediately following the workshop.
Discussion: This study suggests that a spiritual care training program targeted toward geriatric clinicians has the potential to provide clinicians with the tools, skills, and support they need to approach basic spiritual care with their patients and family members.
L'auteur propose une réflexion en cinq temps. Il revient, d'abord sur la complexité de ce qui est à réfléchir en insistant sur la notion d'incertitude comme présupposé éthique de toute réflexion-décision. Puis, il considère la notion de souffrance pensée au coeur de l'expérience du corps et de la vie. Ceci lui permet d'envisager la notion de souffrance spirituelle comme lieu d'inscription herméneutique du vécu de la souffrance sollicitant une sédation. La prise en compte de cette dimension spirituelle remet ensuite les notions d'interdisciplinarité et de compétence pour répondre à une demande de sédation. Ceci permet, au terme de ce parcours réflexif, de situer la demande rituelle comme modalité intersubjective d'entrée en sédation.
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Le système de santé privilégie aujourd'hui la prise en charge de malades au domicile. Au-delà des interrogations d'ordre financier et structurel que cela implique, cela ne va pas sans questionner la notion de vulnérabilité du malade. Mais également la vulnérabilité de chacune des personnes agissant autour du malade au domicile.
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Palliative care providers must seek to improve quality of life despite their patients' life-threating diseases, based on the concept of total pain, which includes physical, psychological and spiritual pain. Understanding the relationship between spiritual coping and psychological symptoms (especially depressive symptoms) could help healthcare teams better address patients' needs. Across-sectional survey with aconvenient sample of ambulatory palliative care patients investigated their psychological pain through the Hospital Anxiety and Depressive (HAD) scale and their use of spirituality using the Brief Religious/spiritual coping (BriefRCOPE) scale. Alinear regression model, using the HADS-depression as outcome variable and the BriefRCOPE as the independent variable, adjusting for confounding variables, investigated the possible association between these variables. Due to methodological limitations, just 40 out 130 potential participants were assessed, with 40percent showing depressive symptoms. In regression model, depressive and anxiety symptoms were significantly associated with each other (p = 0.037 and 0.015, respectively) and negative religious/spiritual coping was associated with depressive symptoms (p = 0.033). This study found asignificant relationship between psychological pain and negative spiritual coping mechanisms. Palliative care professionals should be trained to address patients' total pain and spiritual needs, supporting their ability to cope with their suffering.