Publication Date

12-10-1999

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

This paper describes some theoretical perspectives of spirituality, the concepts of spiritual care and spiritual needs, and barriers to providing spiritual care as described in the literature. The two most frequently described barriers are lack of comfort with the topic and lack of education. Because there is so little written about the discussion of spirituality in schools of nursing, a descriptive study using nursing students on the central coast of California was conducted. The Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS) was used to measure intrinsic spirituality. This study looked for relationships between the scores on this scale, and the students' perception of the importance of participating in the spiritual care of their patients. Positive correlations were found between SIBS score and age, and with agreement that nurses should participate in spiritual care. A greater effort by nursing schools to facilitate students' understanding of their own spirituality and belief systems is encouraged.

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