Spiritual care in Australian General Practice nursing: an interpretive descriptive study

Author: Christine Schreiber

Schreiber, Christine, 2021 Spiritual care in Australian General Practice nursing: an interpretive descriptive study, Flinders University, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

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The subject of spiritual caring in nursing has attracted increasing interest over the past 20-30 years. Research on the topic has taken place predominantly in the acute or palliative care sectors. Studies of nurses who work in General Practice (known as Practice Nurses) are not evident. Using an Interpretive Descriptive study design, data was collected from nurses working in General Practices within Australia, to gain an understanding about how they view spirituality and spiritual care and contains descriptions about their spiritual care experiences. Four themes were elicited from the findings: 1. The individualised importance of spiritualty and spiritual care. 2. Spiritual care as an aspect of person-centred care. 3. Person-centred spiritual care practice. 4. Barriers and enablers to addressing spiritual needs. Participants identified that Practice Nurses require better education about spirituality and how to address spiritual needs; as well as the capacity and tools to be able to incorporate spiritual care into clinical practice. They also identified that in order to facilitate spiritual care, documentation templates used in General Practice should include prompts to address spiritual and/or religious needs.

Keywords: nursing, spirituality, spiritual care, primary health care, General Practice, Australia

Subject: Nursing thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Supervisor: Claire Verrall