"Spirituality is everybody's business": An exploration of the impact of spiritual care training upon the perceptions and practice of rehabilitation professionals
Medicine and Health Sciences
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AbstractPurpose: This study explored the impact of a brief spiritual care training program upon the perceptions and self-reported practice of rehabilitation professionals working in traumatic injury. Methodology and methods: A qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were held with staff from a rehabilitation hospital in Sydney, Australia, between six and eight weeks after participation in spiritual care training. A thematic analysis was conducted. Results: Of the 41 rehabilitation professionals who attended the training (1 h online, 1.5 h face to face), 16 agreed to be interviewed. The majority worked in spinal cord injury and were female. Half reported holding a Christian affiliation. One overarching theme and six sub-themes were identified from the qualitative data. The overarching theme was “spirituality is everybody’s business”. The six sub-themes were: (i) increased awareness of the nature of spirituality, (ii) realisation of the importance of spirituality to clients, (iii) a desire to keep spirituality on the radar, (iv) identifying barriers to providing spiritual care (v) incorporating spirituality into practice, and, (vi) recognising spirituality as personally meaningful. Conclusions: A brief spiritual care training program can impact positively upon perceptions and practice of rehabilitation professionals. Ongoing training is needed to ensure that staff retain what was learnt. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Brief spiritual care training can impact positively upon rehabilitation professionals’ perceptions of spirituality and lead to practice change in the delivery of spiritual care across many clinical disciplines. The stories of patients and family members are powerful staff education tools in spiritual care training. Client spirituality is an under recognised resource that staff can draw upon in supporting and enhancing the rehabilitation process.