Which spiritual sentences are expressed by patients attending a palliative care unit?

María Rufino Castro, Adelaida Ramos Fernández, M. Luisa Prada Jaimez, Ernest Güell Pérez, Oscar Fariñas Balaguer, Tomás Blasco Blasco, Antonio Pascual López

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1 Citation (Scopus)


© 2013 Sociedad Española de Cuidados Paliativos Aim To record spiritual expressions made spontaneously by patients while attending a palliative care unit. Material and method Prospective study registering all sentences made spontaneously by patients. Sentences were subsequently classified into different domains and spiritual needs by the palliative care professionals. Patients seen by the palliative care team between November 2009 and May 2010. Socio-demographic and clinical data such as: location of the patient, the content of the comment/s, date of the comment, professional that is transmitted, gender, age and tumor location were collected. Results During the study period the palliative care team attended 276 new patients, of whom 86 (31.2%) expressed 119 comments spiritual and 102 spiritual needs. Nurses were the professionals who identified more spiritual comments (41.2%) and the hospital consultation the location where most were recorded (48.8%). In relation to the spiritual domains, 93.7% of the 86 patients expressed expressions that were included in the domain of intrapersonal, 61.7% made reference to the interpersonal domain and 26.8% to the transpersonal. Within the intrapersonal domain highlighted that a 41.8% of the patients with spiritual comments referred to hopelessness- desire for hastened death. Respect to the spiritual needs the highest percentages corresponded to the need to lifetime re-examination (22% of patients) and the need to look for meaning to existence (25.5% of patients). Conclusions Almost one third of patients expressed spiritual features. The percentage of patients who expressed spiritual comments could have been greater if a specific plan of action to assess and address the spiritual issues had been designed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
JournalMedicina Paliativa
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Palliative care
  • Spiritual needs
  • Spirituality


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