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Effects of Nurses' Screening of Spiritual Needs of Hospitalized Patients on Consultation and Perceived Nurses' Support and Patients' Spiritual Well-being

Vlasblom, Jan P. PhD; van der Steen, Jenny T. PhD; Walton, Martin N. PhD; Jochemsen, H. PhD

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000111

There is an undeniable relationship between spirituality and health, and taking a spiritual history is a simple way to increase the focus on spiritual care. This is a pre/posttest intervention study. Questionnaires were administered before implementation of a spiritual assessment (pretest, n = 106), and afterward (posttest, n = 103). Despite a difficult implementation process, the number of consultation requests for the Department of Spiritual and Pastoral Care increased from 2 in the pretest period to 33 in the posttest period. After adjusting for patient characteristics, we found no differences between pretest and posttest measurements on the FACIT-Sp-12 total score or nurses' support regarding dealing with illness; we did, however, find a significant decrease on the subscale Faith of the FACIT-Sp-12 and on nurses' support regarding questions about purpose and meaning (97%-83%). In conclusion, taking a spiritual history may contribute to the spiritual care of patients in a general hospital in the shape of more frequent referrals to the spiritual caregiver (chaplain), but further research is needed to determine whether this also means that nurses provide less spiritual care.

Department of Spiritual and Pastoral Care, Ikazia Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (Dr Vlasblom); Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, VU University Medical Center, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Dr van der Steen); Protestant Theological University, Groningen, the Netherlands (Dr Walton); and Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands (Dr Jochemsen).

Correspondence: Jan P. Vlasblom, PhD, Department of Spiritual and Pastoral Care, Ikazia Hospital, Montessoriweg 1, 3083 AN Rotterdam, the Netherlands (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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