National and international professional health and nursing guidelines recommend that attention should be given to the spiritual and religious needs of patients. This suggests that spiritual care is an important aspect of holistic patient care that needs to be considered and supported, if relevant, in a healthcare context. However, many nurses lack knowledge and awareness of the subject, and it is unclear to what extent core textbooks provide the information they need. This article reports on a study that explored the extent to which contemporary core nursing textbooks support and advocate the provision of spiritual care by nurses. Its findings suggest there is a lack of consistency in the inclusion of spirituality in these texts, and few refer specifically to the need for spiritual assessment tools or referral to chaplains. As more attention is given to patients’ spiritual needs, the guidance given by nursing textbooks needs to be more substantive and consistent.
Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2016.e1455Correspondence
This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software
Received: 03 November 2015
Accepted: 06 July 2016
Published online: 29 July 2016
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