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Gap Analysis of Cultural and Religious Needs of Hospitalized Patients

Davidson, Judy E. RN, DNP, CCRN, FCCM; Boyer, Merri Lynn RN; Casey, Debra RN; Matzel, Stephen Chavez MSW, LCSW; Walden, Chaplain David DDiv

doi: 10.1097/01.CNQ.0000314472.33883.d4

Purpose Identify patient and family needs specifically related to an in-hospital birth or death. This study aimed to perform a gap analysis between identified needs and current hospital practice, services, and resources.

Methods With the IRB approval, and purposive sampling using the demographics of a community hospital plus subgroups from problematic cases. Twenty-two semistructured interviews were audiotaped, and 6 lectures and 2 panel discussions were videotaped. Transcriptions were distributed to the research team and manually coded for gaps between current practices versus stated needs. Group process was used to form consensus regarding findings.

Participants The following subgroups were targeted: Muslim, Baha'i, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Latino, Filipino, Chinese, African American.

Results Gaps in available resources, such as prayer books, rugs, and compasses, were identified. Knowledge gaps included many issues such as the Muslim preference for decreasing sedatives at end of life to be able to recite the sacred prayer while dying. Practice issues such as respecting plain-clothed clergy, the impact of “rule-orientation” on family needs, and the universal need to call clergy early were identified.

Author Affiliations: Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, California (Dr Davidson); and Pomerado Hospital, Poway, California (Mrs Boyer and Matzel, Ms Casey and Dr Walden).

Corresponding Author: Judy E. Davidson, RN, DNP, CCRN, FCCM, Scripps Mercy Hospital, 4077 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 (

This study was funded in part by a grant from the Aetna Foundation. The study was performed with participants from the referral area of Pomerado Hospital, Poway, California.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.