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Spiritual Care at the Bedside

Are We Practicing What We Preach?

Taylor, Elizabeth Johnston; Gober-Park, Carla; Schoonover-Shoffner, Kathy; Mamier, Iris; Somaiya, Chintan K.; Bahjri, Khaled

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000570
Feature: practice/education

ABSTRACT: Little is known about how nurses' personal spirituality and religious (S/R) beliefs impact their spiritual care of patients. An online survey was used to collect data from 445 nurses, assessing facets of religiosity, their opinions about introducing S/R during patient care, demographic, and work-related variables. Findings indicated that even in a sample of Christian nurses who scored high on religiousness measures, spiritual care is infrequent. Nurses' opinions about whether it was appropriate to initiate S/R conversation, self-disclosure, and prayer were associated with aspects of nurse religiosity. Nurses working in a faith-based organization were more likely to believe they could initiate S/R conversation and offer prayer.

Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD, RN, is a professor at Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Nursing, Loma Linda, California. She has researched spiritual responses to illness and how nurses provide spiritual care.

Carla Gober-Park, PhD, MPH, RN, is an assistant professor, School of Religion; director, Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness (CSLW); and assistant vice president for Spiritual Life and Mission at LLU. Her scholarly work includes a special emphasis on the relation between spirituality, health, and medicine.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN, is the national director of Nurses Christian Fellowship USA, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Christian Nursing. She is passionate about nursing scholarship and helping nurses improve their spiritual caregiving.

Iris Mamier, PhD, RN, is an associate professor at LLU School of Nursing, with a longstanding interest in whole person care and the link between spirituality and health. She is actively involved in nursing research on spiritual care.

Chintan K. Somaiya, MBA, MS, is a research analyst and program manager at the Center for Community Resilience & CSLW, LLU.

Khaled Bahjri, MD, MPH, teaches in the School of Public Health at LLU.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted by peer-review 7/11/2018.

© 2019 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship