An exploration of the extent to which core nursing textbooks inform holistic spiritual care: implications for nurse managers
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice    

An exploration of the extent to which core nursing textbooks inform holistic spiritual care: implications for nurse managers

Fiona Timmins Associate professor, Trinity College School of Nursing and Midwifery, Dublin
Maryanne Murphy Assistant professor, Trinity College, Dublin
Thelma Begley Assistant professor, Trinity College, Dublin
Freda Neill Clinical skills manager, Trinity College, Dublin
Greg Sheaf Librarian, Trinity College, Dublin

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.e1455


Peer review

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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