“Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature and to the significant or sacred.”
Puchalski,C. & Ferrell, B. (2010). Making Healthcare Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press.
Dr. Paul Tournier was a Swiss physician and author who was famous for his work in pastoral counseling said, “Every disease has two diagnoses – a medical one and a spiritual one.”
Dame Cicely Saunders defined “TOTAL PAIN” as physical pain, emotional pain, social pain and spiritual pain.
Spiritual distress can be expressed by any of the following:
A sense of hopelessness
Feelings of guilt
Lack of inner peace
Need to find meaning
Fear of the unknown
Spiritual pain can create or exacerbate physical pain.
Spiritual support and personal practices or may help in the management of physical pain.
Physical pain and/or the anticipation of death needs spiritual strength.
Effect of Spiritual Care
Healthy spirituality has a positive effect on the physiological functioning while spiritual distress has a negative effect on physiological functioning.
Addressing spiritual issues helps dying patients gain needed closure to achieve a peaceful “good” death.