Nurses' Spiritual Care Practices: Initial Psychometrics of a New Tool and Correlates of Spiritual Care

Monday, 22 July 2013: 2:10 PM

Iris Mamier, PhD, MSN, RN
Betty J. Winslow, PhD, MSN, RN
Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD, MSN, RN
School of Nursing, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to cite the three most (and least) frequently used nurses' spiritual care practices as assessed by the NSCQ.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to name three predictors for nurses' spiritual care practices.

Purpose: To explore the type, frequency, and correlates of nurses’ spiritual care practices in a U.S. tertiary health care system.

Methods: In a descriptive, correlational study, a convenience sample of 554 Registered Nurses (RNs) employed at a faith-based health system participated in an online survey. The study evaluated the factor structure of the 17-item Nurses’ Spiritual Care Practice Questionnaire (NSCQ) using exploratory factor analysis. After descriptive analyses, bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with frequency of spiritual care practice (SCP).

Results: Factorial validity and internal reliability of the NSCQ were established and nurses’ most (and least) frequently implemented practices were identified. The one-dimensional solution (extraction method = principal axis) yielded individual factor loadings between .407 and .836 and accounted for 49.5% of the variance. Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient was 0.93. While responses indicated that these RN’s spiritual care practices were relatively infrequent, items showed sufficient variability. Although work shift, previous spiritual care education, and nurse comfort level with spiritual care were significantly associated with frequency of SCP, no demographic variables were significant.

In the final multivariate model, four predictors explained 32.4% of the total variance for SCP frequency. These predictors included: Nurses’ perception that spiritual issues at the work place came up frequently, self-reported spirituality, work in a non-pediatric setting, and previous education about spiritual care.

Conclusion: This study introduces a new, reliable assessment instrument for nurse-provided spiritual care over a defined period of time. The fact that nurses who previously received education about spiritual care scored higher on the NSCQ encourages efforts to train nurses in spiritual care. The NSCQ allows for comparisons across specialty environments particularly in adult acute and mental health care and can be used by educators, administrators, and clinical researchers to quantify types and frequency of SCP.