Advertisement

What Is Spirituality?

  • Elizabeth WeathersEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This introductory chapter explores contemporary understandings of spirituality and introduces the reader to spirituality and related concepts. It defines spirituality, spiritual distress and related concepts and describes associated key attributes. It gives the reader an understanding of the difficulties encountered with defining spirituality. The importance of spirituality is emphasised and expanded within a modern healthcare context. Practical resources, including websites and case studies, are provided to help the reader to explore their own spirituality and understand spiritual assessment and how to address the spiritual needs of others.

Keywords

Spirituality Spiritual assessment Self-reflection Spiritual distress Spiritual care 

Abbreviations

JCAHO

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations

NANDA

North American Nursing Diagnosis Association

RCN

Royal College of Nursing

UTI

Urinary tract infection

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Fiona Timmins and Silvia Caldeira for the opportunity to author a chapter for this exciting new book. I also wish to acknowledge James Collins for his support of everything I try to achieve in life (the big things and the little things).

References

  1. 1.
    Cockell N, McSherry W. Spiritual care in nursing: an overview of published international research. J Nurs Manag. 2012;20(8):958–69.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Monod S, Brennan M, Rochat E, Martin E, Rochat S, Büla CJ. Instruments measuring spirituality in clinical research: a systematic review. J Gen Intern Med. 2011;26(11):1345.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pike J. Spirituality in nursing: a systematic review of the literature from 2006-10. Br J Nurs. 2011;20(12):743–9.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Williams DR, Sternthal MJ. Spirituality, religion and health: evidence and research directions. Med J Aust. 2007;186(10):S47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Leach MM, Sato T. A content analysis of the psychology of religion and spirituality journal: the initial four years. Psychol Relig Spiritual. 2013;5(2):61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Saslow LR, John OP, Piff PK, Willer R, Wong E, Impett EA, Kogan A, Antonenko O, Clark K, Feinberg M, Keltner D. The social significance of spirituality: new perspectives on the compassion–altruism relationship. Psychol Relig Spiritual. 2013;5(3):201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bullis RK. Spirituality in social work practice. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis; 2013.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Canda ER, Smith ED. Transpersonal perspectives on spirituality in social work. Abingdon: Routledge; 2013.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Crisp BR. Spirituality and social work. Abingdon: Routledge; 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Moody HR. Religion, spirituality, and aging: a social work perspective. Hove: Psychology Press; 2005.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Daniels C, Fitzpatrick M. Integrating spirituality into counselling and psychotherapy: theoretical and clinical perspectives. Can J Couns Psychother (Online). 2013;47(3):315.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rowan J. The transpersonal: spirituality in psychotherapy and counselling. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis; 2005.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Crossman J. Conceptualising spiritual leadership in secular organizational contexts and its relation to transformational, servant and environmental leadership. Leadersh Organ Dev J. 2010;31(7):596–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Crossman J. Environmental and spiritual leadership: tracing the synergies from an organizational perspective. J Bus Ethics. 2011;103(4):553–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Karakas F. Spirituality and performance in organizations: a literature review. J Bus Ethics. 2010;94(1):89–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Phipps KA. Spirituality and strategic leadership: the influence of spiritual beliefs on strategic decision making. J Bus Ethics. 2012;106(2):177–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pawar BS. Workplace spirituality facilitation: a comprehensive model. J Bus Ethics. 2009;90(3):375–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Malinski VM. Developing a nursing perspective on spirituality and healing. Nurs Sci Q. 2002;15(4):281–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Weathers E, McCarthy G, Coffey A. Concept analysis of spirituality: an evolutionary approach. Nurs Forum. 2016;51(2):79–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cohen MZ, Holley LM, Wengel SP, Katzman RM. A platform for nursing research on spirituality and religiosity: definitions and measures. West J Nurs Res. 2012;34(6):795–817.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Miller WR, Thoresen CE. Spirituality, religion, and health: an emerging research field. Am Psychol. 2003;58(1):24.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Breitbart W. Who needs the concept of spirituality? Human beings seem to! Palliat Support Care. 2007;5(2):105–6.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sessanna L, Finnell D, Jezewski MA. Spirituality in nursing and health-related literature: a concept analysis. J Holist Nurs. 2007;25(4):252–62.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Royal College of Nursing. Spirituality in nursing care: online resource. 2010. Available from https://my.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/395864/Sprituality_online_resource_Final.pdf.
  25. 25.
    Swinton J. In: Cobb M, editor. The hospital chaplain’s handbook: a guide for good practice. Norwich: Canterbury Press; 2005.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Frankl VE. Man’s search for meaning. New York: Simon and Schuster; 1985.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Steinhauser KE, Fitchett G, Handzo GF, Johnson KS, Koenig HG, Pargament KI, Puchalski CM, Sinclair S, Taylor EJ, Balboni TA. State of the science of spirituality and palliative care research part I: definitions, measurement, and outcomes. J Pain Symptom Manag. 2017;54(3):428–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dalmida SG. Spirituality, mental health, physical health, and health-related quality of life among women with HIV/AIDS: integrating spirituality into mental health care. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2006;27(2):185–98.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Koenig HG. Religion, spirituality and medicine: the beginning of a new era. South Med J. 2005;98(12):1235–7.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Moreira-Almeida A, Koenig HG, Lucchetti G. Clinical implications of spirituality to mental health: review of evidence and practical guidelines. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2014;36(2):176–82.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Powell LH, Shahabi L, Thoresen CE. Religion and spirituality: linkages to physical health. Am Psychol. 2003;58(1):36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Rippentrop AE, Altmaier EM, Chen JJ, Found EM, Keffala VJ. The relationship between religion/spirituality and physical health, mental health, and pain in a chronic pain population. Pain. 2005;116(3):311–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Koenig HG. Taking a spiritual history. JAMA. 2004;291(23):2881–2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Gray M. Viewing spirituality in social work through the lens of contemporary social theory. Br J Soc Work. 2006;38(1):175–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Holden A. Jehovah’s witnesses: portrait of a contemporary religious movement. Hove: Psychology Press; 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Reed PG. Demystifying self-transcendence for mental health nursing practice and research. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2009;23(5):397–400.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Connell Meehan T. Spirituality and spiritual care from a careful nursing perspective. J Nurs Manag. 2012;20(8):990–1001.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Timmins F, McSherry W. Spirituality: the holy grail of contemporary nursing practice. J Nurs Manag. 2012;20(8):951–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Johnson RW, Tilghman JS, Davis-Dick LR, Hamilton-Faison B. A historical overview of spirituality in nursing. ABNF J. 2006;17(2):60.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Groves RF, Klauser HA. The American book of dying: lessons in healing spiritual pain. Berkeley: Celestial Arts; 2005.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Donley R. Nursing’s mission: spiritual dimensions of health care. J Contemp Health Law Policy. 1991;7:207.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Fealy GA. History of apprenticeship nurse training in Ireland. Abingdon: Routledge; 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    O’Brien ME. Spirituality in nursing: standing on holy ground. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers; 2010.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Scanlan P. The Irish nurse: a study of nursing in Ireland: history and education, 1718–1981. Manorhamilton: Drumlin; 1991.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Barnum BS. Spirituality in nursing: from traditional to new age. New York: Springer; 2006.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Barnum BS. Spirituality in nursing: the challenges of complexity. New York: Springer; 2010.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    McSherry W, Draper P. The debates emerging from the literature surrounding the concept of spirituality as applied to nursing. J Adv Nurs. 1998;27(4):683–91.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    McSherry W, Cash K. The language of spirituality: an emerging taxonomy. Int J Nurs Stud. 2004;41(2):151–61.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Paley J. Spirituality and secularization: nursing and the sociology of religion. J Clin Nurs. 2008;17(2):175–86.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Pesut B. Ontologies of nursing in an age of spiritual pluralism: closed or open worldview? Nurs Philos. 2010;11(1):15–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Watson J. The philosophy and science of caring, revised edition. Boulder: University of Colorado; 2008.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Bradshaw A. Lighting the lamp: the covenant as an encompassing framework for the spiritual dimension of nursing care. In: Farmer E, editor. Exploring the spiritual dimension of care; 1996. p. 1–28.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Burkhardt MA, Nagai-Jacobson MG. Re-awakening spirit in clinical practice. J Holist Nurs. 1994;12(1):9–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Kimble MA. Beyond the biomedical paradigm: generating a spiritual vision of ageing. J Relig Gerontol. 2002;12(3–4):31–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Wilson D. The nurse’s role in improving indigenous health. Contemp Nurse. 2003;15(3):232–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    McSherry W. Making sense of spirituality in nursing and health care practice: an interactive approach. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2006.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Berry D. Methodological pitfalls in the study of religiosity and spirituality. West J Nurs Res. 2005;27(5):628–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Young C, Koopsen C. Spirituality, health, and healing: an integrative approach. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers; 2010.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Astrow AB, Wexler A, Texeira K, He MK, Sulmasy DP. Is failure to meet spiritual needs associated with cancer patients’ perceptions of quality of care and their satisfaction with care? J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(36):5753–7.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Kang J, Shin DW, Choi JY, Park CH, Baek YJ, Mo HN, Song MO, Park S, Moon DH, Son KY. Addressing the religious and spiritual needs of dying patients by healthcare staff in Korea: patient perspectives in a multi-religious Asian country. Psycho-Oncology. 2012;21(4):374–81.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Balboni TA, Vanderwerker LC, Block SD, Paulk ME, Lathan CS, Peteet JR, Prigerson HG. Religiousness and spiritual support among advanced cancer patients and associations with end-of-life treatment preferences and quality of life. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(5):555–60.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Balboni TA, Paulk ME, Balboni MJ, Phelps AC, Loggers ET, Wright AA, Block SD, Lewis EF, Peteet JR, Prigerson HG. Provision of spiritual care to patients with advanced cancer: associations with medical care and quality of life near death. J Clin Oncol. 2009;28(3):445–52.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Balboni T, Balboni M, Paulk ME, Phelps A, Wright A, Peteet J, Block S, Lathan C, VanderWeele T, Prigerson H. Support of cancer patients’ spiritual needs and associations with medical care costs at the end of life. Cancer. 2011;117(23):5383–91.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Pearce MJ, Coan AD, Herndon JE, Koenig HG, Abernethy AP. Unmet spiritual care needs impact emotional and spiritual well-being in advanced cancer patients. Support Care Cancer. 2012;20(10):2269–76.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Hatamipour K, Rassouli M, Yaghmaie F, Zendedel K, Majd HA. Spiritual needs of cancer patients: a qualitative study. Ind J palliat Care. 2015;21(1):61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Alzheimer’s Care Today. Spirituality: Tips & Strategies. Alzheimer’s Care Today. 2009;10(4):238–9.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Agli O, Bailly N, Ferrand C. Spirituality and religion in older adults with dementia: a systematic review. Int Psychogeriatr. 2015;27(5):715–25.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Hosseini S, Chaurasia A, Oremus M. The effect of religion and spirituality on cognitive function: a systematic review. The Gerontologist. 2017;12:gnx024.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Maddox M. Teaching spirituality to nurse practitioner students: the importance of the interconnection of mind, body, and spirit. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2001;13(3):134–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    McSherry W, Ross L. Dilemmas of spiritual assessment: considerations for nursing practice. J Adv Nurs. 2002;38(5):479–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Taylor EJ. Spiritual care: nursing theory, research, and practice. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall; 2002.Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Mauk KL, Schmidt NA, editors. Spiritual care in nursing practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Clarke J. Spiritual care in everyday nursing practice: a new approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Pargament KI, Koenig HG, Tarakeshwar N, Hahn J. Religious coping methods as predictors of psychological, physical and spiritual outcomes among medically ill elderly patients: a two-year longitudinal study. J Health Psychol. 2004;9(6):713–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Sherman AC, Plante TG, Simonton S, Latif U, Anaissie EJ. Prospective study of religious coping among patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation. J Behav Med. 2009;32(1):118–28.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Winkelman WD, Lauderdale K, Balboni MJ, Phelps AC, Peteet JR, Block SD, Kachnic LA, VanderWeele TJ, Balboni TA. The relationship of spiritual concerns to the quality of life of advanced cancer patients: preliminary findings. J Palliat Med. 2011;14(9):1022–8.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Yarbro CH, Wujcik D, Gobel BH. Cancer symptom management. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2013.Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Herdman TH, editor. Nursing diagnoses 2012–14: definitions and classification. Hoboken: Wiley; 2009.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Caldeira S, Carvalho EC, Vieira M. Spiritual distress—proposing a new definition and defining characteristics. Int J Nurs Knowl. 2013;24(2):77–84.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Ellor JW, editor. Methods in religion, spirituality & aging. Abingdon: Routledge; 2013.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Moberg DO. Spirituality and aging: research and implications∗: sociology. J Relig Spiritual Aging. 2008;20(1–2):95–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    George LK, Larson DB, Koenig HG, McCullough ME. Spirituality and health: what we know, what we need to know. J Soc Clin Psychol. 2000;19(1):102–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Maj M. Foreword. In: Verhagen P, Van Praag HM, López-Ibor Jr JJ, Cox J, Moussaoui D, editors. Religion and psychiatry: beyond boundaries. Hoboken: Wiley; 2012.Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Ho DY, Ho RT. Measuring spirituality and spiritual emptiness: toward ecumenicity and transcultural applicability. Rev Gen Psychol. 2007;11(1):62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Stefanek M, McDonald PG, Hess SA. Religion, spirituality and cancer: current status and methodological challenges. Psycho-Oncology. 2005;14(6):450–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Ellison LL. The spiritual well-being scale. 2006. Available from http://mds.marshalledu/co_faculty.
  87. 87.
    McClain CS, Rosenfeld B, Breitbart W. Effect of spiritual Well-being on end-of-life despair in terminally-ill cancer patients. Lancet. 2003;361(9369):1603–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Campbell JD, Yoon DP, Johnstone B. Determining relationships between physical health and spiritual experience, religious practices, and congregational support in a heterogeneous medical sample. J Relig Health. 2010;49(1):3–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Underwood LG. The daily spiritual experience scale: overview and results. Religions. 2011;2(1):29–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    Thomas JC, Burton M, Quinn Griffin MT, Fitzpatrick JJ. Self-transcendence, spiritual well-being, and spiritual practices of women with breast cancer. J Holist Nurs. 2010;28(2):115–22.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  91. 91.
    Shafranske EP, Cummings JP. Religious and spiritual beliefs, affiliations, and practices of psychologists. In: Pargament KI, Mahoney AE, Shafranske EP, editors. APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality (Vol 2): an applied psychology of religion and spirituality. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2013.Google Scholar
  92. 92.
    Urry HL, Roeser RW, Lazar SW, Poey AP, Warren AE, Lerner RM, Phelps E. Prefrontal cortical activation during emotion regulation: linking religious/spiritual practices with well-being. In: Thriving and spirituality among youth: research perspectives and future possibilities. Hoboken: Wiley; 2012. p. 17–31.Google Scholar
  93. 93.
    Lee E, Zahn A, Baumann K. “Religion in psychiatry and psychotherapy?” a pilot study: the meaning of religiosity/spirituality from staff’s perspective in psychiatry and psychotherapy. Religions. 2011;2(4):525–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. 94.
    Lucchetti G, Lucchetti AL, Koenig HG. Impact of spirituality/religiosity on mortality: comparison with other health interventions. EXPLORE. 2011;7(4):234–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. 95.
    Weiss DH. Religiosity/Spirituality as a protective factor for posttraumatic stress disorder among African American students at Jackson State University [Unpublished thesis]. 2011. Available from https://etd.library.emory.edu/view/record/pid/emory:9471f.
  96. 96.
    Koenig HG. Religion, spirituality, and medicine: application to clinical practice. JAMA. 2000;284(13):1708.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. 97.
    Peres JF, Moreira-Almeida A, Nasello AG, Koenig HG. Spirituality and resilience in trauma victims. J Relig Health. 2007;46(3):343–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. 98.
    Beery TA, Baas LS, Fowler C, Allen G. Spirituality in persons with heart failure. J Holist Nurs. 2002;20(1):5–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. 99.
    Moberg DO. Spirituality research: measuring the immeasurable? Perspect Sci Christ Faith. 2010;62(2):99–114.Google Scholar
  100. 100.
    Höcker A, Krüll A, Koch U, Mehnert A. Exploring spiritual needs and their associated factors in an urban sample of early and advanced cancer patients. Eur J Cancer Care. 2014;23(6):786–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. 101.
    Darby K, Nash P, Nash S. Understanding and responding to spiritual and religious needs of young people with cancer: Kathryn Darby and colleagues explore ways to support this patient group by focusing on non-medical aspects of care. Cancer Nurs Pract. 2014;13(2):32–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ion Beam Applications (IBA)Ottignies-Louvain-la-NeuveBelgium

Personalised recommendations