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J Nurs Manag. 2015 Jan;23(1):87-95. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12087. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Spiritual needs and spiritual support preferences of people with end-stage heart failure and their carers: implications for nurse managers.

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1
Department of Education and Service Delivery, Faculty of Health, Education, Psychology and Sport, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Spiritual care is an important element of holistic care but has received little attention within palliative care in end-stage heart failure.

AIMS:

To identify the spiritual needs and spiritual support preferences of end-stage heart failure patients/carers and to develop spiritual support guidelines locally.

METHOD:

Semi-structured interviews (totalling 47) at 3-monthly intervals up to 1 year with 16 end-stage heart failure patients/carers. Focus group/consultation with stakeholders.

RESULTS:

Participants were struggling with spiritual/existential concerns alongside the physical and emotional challenges of their illness. These related to: love/belonging; hope; coping; meaning/purpose; faith/belief; and the future. As a patient's condition deteriorated, the emphasis shifted from 'fighting' the illness to making the most of the time left. Spiritual concerns could have been addressed by: having someone to talk to; supporting carers; and staff showing sensitivity/taking care to foster hope. A spiritual support home visiting service would be valued.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our sample experienced significant spiritual needs and would have welcomed spiritual care within the palliative care package.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT:

Nurse managers could play a key role in developing this service and in leading further research to evaluate the provision of such a service in terms of its value to patients and other benefits including improved quality of life, spiritual wellbeing, reduced loneliness/isolation and a possible reduction in hospital admissions.

KEYWORDS:

heart failure; palliative care; qualitative research; spiritual care; spiritual needs; spirituality

PMID:
23859075
DOI:
10.1111/jonm.12087
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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