Spiritual care at the end of life
Lianne Wynne Staff nurse, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral
With increasing focus on providing spiritual care at the end of life, healthcare professionals and those involved in policy development are questioning how to make a ‘good’ death the expectation, rather than the exception. However, there is a lack of awareness of the importance of spirituality to patients’ lives, and how good spiritual care can enhance quality of life and improve patient outcomes. This article examines the role of spirituality in palliative care, focusing on spiritual assessment, communication and compassion in nursing. The article attempts to provide a working definition of spirituality, focusing on who should provide spiritual care and the difficulties in meeting the spiritual needs of individuals at the end of life. Strategies to promote the spiritual wellbeing of the patient are discussed.
Nursing Standard. 28, 2, 41-45. doi: 10.7748/ns2013.09.28.2.41.e7977Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer review
Received: 14 June 2013
Accepted: 03 July 2013