Title

Describing Spirituality at the End of Life

Publication Title

Western Journal of Nursing Research

Publication Date

9-2015

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1177/0193945914535509

Keywords

spirituality, health behavior/symptom focus, end-of-life, adults, population focus

Disciplines

Nursing

Abstract

Spirituality is salient to persons nearing the end of life (EOL). Unfortunately, researchers have not been able to agree on a universal definition of spirituality reducing the effectiveness of spiritual research. To advance spiritual knowledge and build an evidence base, researchers must develop creative ways to describe spirituality as it cannot be explicitly defined. A literature review was conducted to determine the common attributes that comprise the essence of spirituality, thereby creating a common ground on which to base spiritual research. Forty original research articles (2002 to 2012) focusing on EOL and including spiritual definitions/descriptions were reviewed. Analysis identified five attributes that most commonly described the essence of spirituality, including meaning, beliefs, connecting, self-transcendence, and value.