Indexed on: 10 Jun '10Published on: 10 Jun '10Published in: Journal of Clinical Nursing
This study aimed to identify the spiritual needs of neuro-oncology patients from a patient perspective and how nurses currently support patients with spiritual needs.Spiritual needs of cancer patients should be assessed and discussed by healthcare professionals from diagnosis. Nurses should assess and support neuro-oncology patients with their spiritual needs during their hospital stay.Qualitative research.Data were collected through a Critical Incident Technique questionnaire from neuro-oncology patients and were subjected to thematic content analysis.Some patients with brain tumours do report spiritual needs during their hospital stay and some of these needs are not met by nurses.There is clearly a need for healthcare professionals to provide spiritual care for neuro-oncology patients and their relatives. Further research is required to explore how effective nurses are at delivering spiritual care and if nurses are the most appropriate professionals to support neuro-oncology patients with spiritual care.The study illuminates that some neuro-oncology patients' have spiritual needs that could be met by nurses. Spiritual needs include supportive family relationships, emotional support, loneliness, religious needs, need to talk, reassurance, anxiety, solitude, denial, plans for the future, thoughts about meaning of life, end of life decisions and discussion of beliefs. The implications of the findings of this study are that nurses need to be aware and respond to these spiritual needs.