Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Jane Cerruti Dellert, Ph.D

Committee Member

Bonnie Sturm, Ed.D

Committee Member

Pamela Galehouse, Ph.D

Keywords

spirituality, spiritual perspective scale, mindfulness, palliative care, hospice, spiritual care

Abstract

Spiritual care is an ethical obligation of the nursing profession and an essential component of palliative care, but is often misunderstood. Lack of conceptual clarity is problematic, for each nurse will provide spiritual care based on his or her understanding of what this care should include.

Regardless of how a nurse defines spiritual care, an important element of spiritual care is what nurses bring of themselves to the patient encounter. Findings from several studies have shown a positive relationship between a nurse’s spiritual perspective and spiritual care practices. Spiritual perspective has increased as a result of participating in programs designed to develop mindfulness, “being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present” (Brown & Ryan, 2003, p. 822). Being present is an essential skill for spiritual care practice, and a nurse’s ability to be fully present may be facilitated by his or her degree of mindfulness.

The relationships between and among spiritual perspective, mindfulness, and spiritual care practices were evaluated using a descriptive correlational design and a convenience sample of nurses from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. Data were collected online via SurveyMonkey® using the Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS), Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), and the Nurse Spiritual Care Therapeutics Scale (NSCTS).

There was a positive correlation between mindfulness and spiritual care practices (r = .212, p = .05). A linear regression analysis indicated that mindfulness explained 4.5% of the variance in spiritual care practices. No statistically significant relationship was found between spiritual perspective and mindfulness or spiritual perspective and spiritual care practices in this sample of nurses engaged in hospice and palliative care nursing.

Identifying mindfulness as a factor that may influence spiritual care practices has implications for nursing education, research, and practice.

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