Understanding spirituality and spiritual care in nursing
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Understanding spirituality and spiritual care in nursing

Fiona Timmins Associate professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Sílvia Caldeira Assistant professor, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Lisbon, Portugal

Spirituality is a complex concept that has different meanings for different people. Spiritual care is a fundamental aspect of nursing and attending to the spiritual needs of patients may improve their health outcomes. This article, the first in a series of three, explores various definitions of spirituality, and the importance of spirituality and spiritual care in healthcare settings. The second article of this series provides an in-depth exploration of the assessment of patients’ spiritual care needs, and the third and final article in this short series discusses spiritual care nursing interventions.

Nursing Standard. 31, 22, 50-57. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10311



Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 18 October 2015

Accepted: 16 June 2016