ARTICLESSpiritual Support for Families of Patients With Cancer: A Pilot Study of Nursing Staff AssessmentsKuuppelomäki, Merja PhD, RNAuthor Information From the School of Health Care, Seinäjoki Polytechnic, Finland. Corresponding author: Merja Kuuppelomäki, PhD, RN, Seinäjoki Polytechnic, Research and Development Centre for Social Welfare and Health, Koskenalantie 17, FIN-60220 Seinäjoki, Finland (e-mail: merja.kuupelomaki @seamk.fi). Accepted for publication December 19, 2001. Cancer Nursing: June 2002 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - p 209-218 Buy Abstract The results reported in this article are drawn from a larger study aimed at describing and explaining the support provided by nursing staff to the families of patients with cancer. The purpose of this component of the study was to explore the views of nursing staff on the importance of spiritual support as well as their readiness and willingness to provide that support. A further concern was with the provision of spiritual support, obstacles to providing support, and related factors. A total of 166 nurses (registered nurses and licensed practical nurses) from 5 central hospitals in Finland participated. The data were collected using a structured questionnaire in which spiritual support was measured by multiple-choice items and one open-ended question. Analysis of the multiple-choice items was based on SPSS statistical software, and interpretation of the responses to the open-ended question relied on the method of content analysis. There was broad agreement on the importance of providing spiritual support to family members, however, 58% of the nurses believed they were poorly equipped to provide support and 53% were less or not at all willing to provide spiritual support. Willingness to provide support was lowest among licensed practical nurses. Willingness and readiness to provide support were related to on another. Overall, nursing staff rarely discussed spiritual issues with or offered spiritual support to family members. The study also revealed many obstacles to the provision of spiritual support. The age of nursing staff and the type of ward were associated with the provision of spiritual support. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.