Spirituality - How should we assess the spiritual needs of our patients?

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An e-learning module or article about an e-learning module which is run an managed by the British Geriatrics Society
Authors:
Dawne Garrett
Date Published:
01 October 2012
Last updated: 
01 October 2012

This Practice Question has been published with the kind permission of the Royal College of Nursing.

With Christmas drawing near, it is timely to consider our celebration of cultural and religious festivals and recognise that they take place throughout the year. Notable dates this year include May 17, October 26, December 22 and December 25. These dates, Buddha Day, Diwali, Yule and Christmas respectively, have considerable significance for many members of our society and celebrating them can be of great spiritual importance. The 2001 census reveals that 70 per cent of people claim to have a religious or spiritual affiliation (Office for National Statistics 2001).

While it may be unrealistic to celebrate every significant day for every patient, we know that assessment of a person’s spiritual needs should be an integral part of our professional assessment (Department of Health 2002). However, spiritual events and meanings give rise to wellbeing (Elliott 2011) and our assessments should include examining the spirituality of those we care for.

This practice question has been published with the kind permission of the Royal College of Nursing.