Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2020 Jun;23(2):44-54. 10.14475/kjhpc.2020.23.2.44.

Analysis of Spiritual Care Experiences of Acute-Care Hospital Nurses

  • 1College of Nursing, Dong-A University, Korea
  • 2College of Nursing, Kosin University, Busan, Korea


The purpose of this study was to analyze the experiences of acute care hospital nurses’ on spiritual care with focus group interviews.
Data were collected from 24 nurses recruited from one acute-care hospital in a southern province of Korea. Six focus groups were assembled considering age and religion. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Five categories with 14 sub-categories emerged: 1) ambiguous concept: confusing terms, an additional job; 2) assessment of spiritual care needs: looking for spiritual care needs, not recognizing spiritual care needs; 3) spiritual care practices: active spiritual care, passive spiritual care ; 4) outcomes of spiritual care: comfort of the recipient, comfort of the provider; and 5) barriers to spiritual care: fear of criticism from others, lack of education, lack of time, space constraints, and absence of a recording system.
Participants perceived spiritual care as an uncertain concept. Some participants recognized it as a form of nursing care, and others did not. They practiced spiritual care in acute-care settings according to their personal perceptions of spiritual care. Therefore, in order to perform spiritual nursing in acute-care hospitals, it is a priority for nurses to recognize the concept of spiritual nursing accurately. It is also necessary to prepare a hospital environment suitable for the provision of spiritual care.


Spirituality; General hospital; Nurses; Qualitative research
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