The goal of this pilot study was to identify naturally occurring, spiritually relevant conversations and elucidate challenges for nurses in home hospice. We examined naturalistic communication data collected during nurse hospice visits with cancer patients and their family caregivers. Using deductive content analysis, guided by Consensus Conference spiritual categories and definition, categorical themes were identified. Thirty-Three visits to seven families were recorded by five nurses. Although most spiritual dialogue was brief, analysis revealed five themes: Spiritual Beliefs and Rituals, Connection, Spiritual Comfort, Closure and Acceptance, and Spiritual Distress. Findings demonstrate the range of spiritual issues raised in hospice and challenges nurses face in maintaining boundaries while remaining genuine and family-centered in providing care. This work serves as a foundation for future research and education to help clinicians to engage in more intentional spiritual conversations in the support of families at end of life.
- end of life care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Life-span and Life-course Studies