Spiritual Needs of Patients

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Patients need a lot of care and management for their recovery process (Büssing & Koenig, 2010). Patients do have needs only that some of whom are critically ill cannot be able to speak themselves out. Patients especially those suffering from cancer illnesses, mental illnesses and also those suffering from mental illnesses do have a lot of spiritual needs (Balboni, Balboni, Paulk, Phelps, Wright, Peteet & Prigerson, 2011). Spiritual care assessment is an important factor to the health care providers as it assists them to clearly define the various spiritual needs of different victims. Through the understanding of a patient's spiritual needs, the healthcare provider is able to have a great understanding of the illness that the patient is suffering from. Through spiritual assessment, it is easy to figure out the patients that are at a higher risk of increased spiritual distress. To clearly understand the spiritual needs of patients, healthcare providers need to have a good relationship with the patients. The first step of carrying out a spiritual assessment of a patient involves identifying the religion of the patient (Cook, Breckon, Jay, Renwick & Walker, 2012). It is essential to analyze the spiritual practice of the patient. The second factor would be assuring the patient that all the information that he/she would give would remain private between him/her and the healthcare provider. This will enable the patient to give out information to the healthcare provider without any fear.

Below is a sample of an interview between a patient and a healthcare provider. The interview is about the spiritual needs of a patient. The patient clearly explains her spiritual needs when she was admitted to the hospital. Through the interview, she is able to explain that the nurses were able to address her spiritual needs through her admission to the hospital.

Interviewer: Do you believe that the nurses and doctors were able to identify and fulfill your spiritual needs?


Yes. The doctors gave me a questionnaire to fill out assessing my spiritual needs. They said this would help them understand my needs which help them during my recovery process (Nixon, Narayanasamy & Penny, 2013).


On the theme of connection, do you think that they were able to understand and fulfill your needs?


For me, I feel that the doctors and the nurses provided social support during my time at the hospital. Whenever they came to check on me they wished me God's blessings and this kept my spirits high. During the visits, they respected me which made me very happy.


How do you think they responded to the theme of transcendence?


The nurses strengthened my spiritual belief as they took me daily to the church hospital and prayed together. I felt that they helped communicate to my God and strengthened my faith. Every day they would pray with me in the church and this made me forget my illness.


Do you think they responded to the theme of seeking peace well?


They helped me seek inner peace by encouraging me to do the activities that make me feel at ease when being stressed. At one point I felt like I would die, but due to the hope I had in them, I was able to believe in their treatment.


And finally, how do you believe they responded to the theme of finding meaning and purpose?


One thing that helped heal is acceptance. The nurses help accept the disease as part of life and this was one step in helping me recover. They helped find the cause of the disease and explained to me that this was a test from God. I was able to change the meaning of life. I felt that it was more precious than before. They helped me enjoy and this was one thing that helped me recover greatly.

The interview was a success as the respondent was able to answer the questions asked. The respondent positively responded to the questions asked during the interview. She was willing to participate and this is what made a success in the first place. Her body language clearly indicates that she was comfortable during the interview period. Talking about one's disease is not easy is not an easy thing but the respondent did smile, laugh and made eye contact with the interviewer, a clear indication of the success of the interview (Dieckmann, Friis, Lippert & Østergaard, 2012). The interview lasted longer than it had been planned. The respondent had a lot to talk about and did not fear to disclose any personal information. Before conducting the interview, there was a feeling of fear that the respondent would not disclose her personal information. The success of the interview helped draft a final draft concerning the spiritual needs of a patient and the importance of health care providers understanding these needs in the recovery process of patients.

Although the respondent was cooperative there were still challenges experienced during the interview. These factors made the interview not to be a hundred percent successful. The main problem faced during the interview was language barrier. The respondent was not able to communicate in the national language which forced for the use of an interpreter. This made the interview process to become expensive which was not planned in the budget. The respondent was could not clearly understand the importance of the significance of the spiritual assessment and care for the recovery process (Haw, Stubbs & Dickens, 2014). Some questions asked in the interview rubbed the respondent the wrong way. She felt that some questions were against her culture and social well-being of the community thus she did not respond to some of the questions asked. She was also not familiar with certain questions asked during the interview process. Assuring the respondent privacy and respecting her opinions would have helped her respond to certain private questions asked during the interview process. Information such as her name, age, culture and the disease she suffered from should not have been disclosed during the interview. The respondent would be confident about the privacy of her information.

In future, the interviewer needs to include or modify various issues during the assessment period. Including interdisciplinary team members in assessment process would be important as this would include diverse views in the process of assessment thus improving the quality of the findings and results (Turner III, 2010). This would require them being willing to be involved emphatically in the spiritual assessment of the patient. Integrating various methods into the care plan which are comfortably appreciated by the interdisciplinary team members would be an important factor to do (Jalil, Ahmed, Green & Sevdalis, 2013).

From the interview, it was clear that the respondent's illness did amplify her spiritual needs and concerns. The interview was divided into four themes which clearly did elaborate more on spiritual needs. From her responses, she was able to explain that the disease brought her closer to God, had a deeper meaning of life and felt greatly connected to other people.

Büssing, A., & Koenig, H. G. (2010). Spiritual needs of patients with chronic diseases. Religions, 1(1), 18-27.

Balboni, T., Balboni, M., Paulk, M. E., Phelps, A., Wright, A., Peteet, J., ... & Prigerson, H. (2011). Support of cancer patients' spiritual needs and associations with medical care costs at the end of life. Cancer, 117(23), 5383-5391.

Cook, C. C., Breckon, J., Jay, C., Renwick, L., & Walker, P. (2012). Pathway to accommodate patients' spiritual needs. Nursing management., 19(2), 33-37.

Nixon, A. V., Narayanasamy, A., & Penny, V. (2013). An investigation into the spiritual needs of neuro-oncology patients from a nurse perspective. BMC nursing, 12(1), 2.

Haw, C., Stubbs, J., & Dickens, G. L. (2014). Barriers to the reporting of medication administration errors and near misses: an interview study of nurses at a psychiatric hospital. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 21(9), 797-805.

Dieckmann, P., Friis, S. M., Lippert, A., & Østergaard, D. (2012). Goals, success factors, and barriers for simulation-based learning: A qualitative interview study in health care. Simulation & Gaming, 43(5), 627-647.

Turner III, D. W. (2010). Qualitative interview design: A practical guide for novice investigators. The qualitative report, 15(3), 754.

Jalil, R., Ahmed, M., Green, J. S., & Sevdalis, N. (2013). Factors that can make an impact on decision-making and decision implementation in cancer multidisciplinary teams: an interview study of the provider perspective. International journal of surgery, 11(5), 389-394.

October 24, 2023

Health Life Religion



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