Journal of Nursing & Care

ISSN: 2167-1168

Open Access

Spiritual Needs and Care of Patients from Nurses’ Perspectives on ICU


Ya-Lie Ku

Background: Current studies mainly emphasized the spiritual needs and care of cancer and hospice patients; few deal with the other critically ill patients.

Aim: This study aimed to describe the spiritual needs and care of ICU patients from nurses’ perspectives.

Design: This is a qualitative study.

Method: The semi-structured guided interviewing on ICU nurses in a medical center of southern Taiwan was approved by the IRB at the research department of the hospital and data collection was carried out from January to June 2012. The investigator repeatedly read the transcribed text, and found statements relevant to the themes in the transcriptions to form significant statements as the basis of data analysis. To ensure the rigor of this study, the investigator adopted the approach of trustworthiness of qualitative research proposed by Lincoln and Guba.

Results: For the assessment of patients’ spiritual needs, the patients were divided into two groups: conscious and unconscious groups. The spiritual needs of the former were assessed by the clinical observation and judgment, while the latter were assessed through family interpretation. In addition, there are six themes in general spiritual care: care skills, interaction promotion, religious belief, cultural care, wish fulfilment, alleviation of grief and terminal care. Spiritual care of the conscious and unconscious patients were also included.

Conclusion: Spiritual needs and care from ICU nurses’ perspective were different from the patients; however, both of views were focused on the general spiritual care, while ICU nurses divided spiritual care into the conscious and unconscious patients. Relevance to clinical practice: The authors suggested that a complete guideline of spiritual care for critically ill patients integrating with the cultural care and interdisciplinary cooperation could be developed on the basis of the results of this study in the future, which could provide more empirical data as the nursing reference.


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