Spiritual care is an important domain of palliative care programs across the country and in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System specifically. This qualitative study provides insights into spirituality, spiritual needs, and spiritual care in a VA palliative care setting from the perspectives of Veterans and their families. Many of the participants in this study defined spirituality as the personal quest for meaning of life. Veterans in this study recognized the impact of the military experience on spirituality, consistent with research on chaplains providing spiritual care in the VA. The findings of this study can be used to develop a spiritual need and spiritual care scale to be used for Veterans and for other patients who have a terminal illness and their families. Such a scale could then be used as an instrument to study spiritual needs, spiritual care, outcomes of care which can ultimately help to improve quality of care.
Posts Tagged ‘spiritual care’
The understanding of spirituality and the potential role of spiritual care in end-of-life and palliative care: a meta-study of qualitative research
From Palliative Medicine
Patients confronted with death often engage in spiritual reflection with an increased questioning and searching for meaning. This study looks at the role of spirituality in end-of-life care, how these needs are defined and healthcare professionals response. Spiritual care is regarded as very important for many terminally ill patients. There has been a growing separation of the concepts of spirituality and religion. Spiritual needs may have fewer associations with a god and more with relationships. The study recognises that professionals have difficulty defining what such care could include but do recognise that relationships are an integral part of spiritual needs. This includes family, friends and care givers. Examining data from both patients and healthcare providers this research considers the physical, personal and social needs of the patient. Findings indicate that It is important to clarify the meaning of spirituality in relation to healthcare in order to enhance communication, practice, education and research, and to reduce the gap between policy and patient expectations.