The spiritual health of oncology patients: A comparison of nurse and patient perceptions

Highfield, Martha
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Nurses who are committed to care of the whole person must be knowledgeable about patients' spiritual needs. This descriptive, cross-sectional survey was designed to investigate the spiritual health of oncology patients. Parallel nurse (r =.89) and patient (r =.77) Spiritual Health Inventories (SHI) and demographic sheets were distributed to a convenience sample of 40 nurse-inpatient pairs from two hospitals. Respondents included 23 patients with primary lung cancer and 27 Registered Nurses. Patients reported a normatively high level of spiritual health, positively related both to age (p<.02) and physical well-being (p<.014). Analysis of 21 matched nurse-patient SHI scores indicated that nurse respondents inaccurately assessed their patients' spiritual health. Patients and nurses ranked family members or friends and clergypersons as priority choices of spiritual caregivers. Although not generalizable, findings should assist in future studies.

Spiritual needs and health, Oncology patients, Religion