Exploring the spiritual needs of families with seriously ill children

Betty Ferrell, Elaine Wittenberg, Vanessa Battista, Gay Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although we know that families of seriously ill children experience spiritual distress, especially at the end of the child's life, there is little information on the specific spiritual needs of families. In order to develop further training for nurses in paediatrics and help nurses develop skills for communicating about spirituality, this research examined the spiritual needs of families based on nurses' experiences with families of seriously ill children. Nurses' experiences revealed that families' anger with God, blame/regret, forgiveness, and ritual and cultural traditions are salient spiritual needs requiring effective nurse communication skills to support families of ill children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-394
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of palliative nursing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Nursing
  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative care
  • Qualitative
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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