Spirituality and Spiritual Care, the View of Key Stakeholders: A Nigeria Case Study

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 11:05 AM

Joel Adeleke Afolayan, PhD, BSc (Hons) (Nsg)
Department of Nursing Science, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria, ILORIN, Nigeria
Jose Frantz, PhD (PT), MSc
Faculty of Community and Health Sciences,Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Purpose: In Nigeria, the issue of meeting spiritual needs of the patients as a component of holistic nursing care is underutilized. There is huge confusion among the nurses regarding the meanings of spirituality and because of this confusion, the sensitivity of religion in the nation generally, no nurse wants to talk of the spiritual needs of the patients. However, without the spiritual care components of care, holistic nursing care will always be incomplete. The aim of this study was to explore the extent to which nurse educators, nurse clinicians and nursing students understand the concept of spiritual care within the context of holistic nursing care.

Methods: A descriptive research design using a quantitative approach. The study was conducted in five geopolitical zones and in one accredited department of nursing science per zone among the nurse educators, nurse clinicians and fourth and fifth year nursing students with a convenient sample of 250. Two structured questionnaires (Spiritual Care Competence Scale & The Role of Spirituality in Nursing Practice/Spirituality and Spiritual Care Scales) were used to gather the data. Descriptive statistics in the form of frequency distributions were used to summarise biodata of the participants and Chi-square and multiple regression were used to determine the relationship of the variables while Pearson’s correlation was used to determine the correlation between spiritual competence of the participants and their years of experience and qualifications.

Results: The results showed that a significant association existed between respondents’ qualification and their ability not to impose their own spiritual/religious belief on a patient (p<0.05). The results of this study showed the importance of spiritual care in meeting the holistic nursing needs of the patients so there is a scope for improving this dimension of care in order to better the quality of life of the patients.

Conclusion: So it is crucial that for the knowledge of the nurses in Nigeria either as educators or clinicians or nursing students on spirituality and spiritual care to improve, there must be a review of training curriculum for integration of spiritual care into it for both training and retraining programmes so adequate knowledge, skills and positive attitude toward patient spirituality will lead to improved competence and better outcomes in spiritual nursing care.