ArticleLiterature Review

Interventional Studies to Support the Spiritual Self-Care of Health Care Practitioners

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Abstract

The impact of spiritual practices on job satisfaction remains unclear. This integrative literature review assessed the effectiveness of various spiritual interventions and found that mindfulness was the intervention most widely used. The most promising outcome measures were stress, burnout, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Future research recommendation includes longitudinal reinforcement of mindfulness.

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... Twelve systematic reviews focused on outcomes for healthcare professionals [64,76,83,109,110,113,114,121,132,155,159,177]. The largest review included 17 RCTs [155], reported positive results, and suggested that MBSR and mindfulness meditation are effective in reducing nurses' state anxiety (SMD -0.78; CI -1.39 to -0.18; 6 RCTs) and depression (SMD -0.51; CI -0.78 to -0.18, 4 RCTs) but not trait anxiety (SMD -0.67; -1.52, 0.18; 3 RCTs) or stress (SMD -0.34; CI -2.67, 1.99; 5 RCTs) [155]. ...
... A review on compassion fatigue identified only one relevant RCT [177] and a review on stress management in medical education did not identify any relevant RCTs [64]. The remaining reviews did not provide intervention effect estimates, reported no summary for mindfulness interventions, or did not report effects for RCTs specifically [76,83,110,113,114,121,132,159]. ...
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... Mindfulness is a form of self-reflection-a practice of intentional acceptance and nonjudgmental focus of attention on present-moment emotions, thoughts, and sensations 3 . There is evidence that the practice of mindfulness alleviates a variety of mental and physical conditions and improves resilience to stressful and difficult challenges [4][5][6][7][8][9] . ...
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Given the current necessity of retaining qualified nurses, a self-care program consisting of Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation classes, and Reiki healing sessions was designed for a university-based hospital. The effectiveness of these interventions was evaluated using self-care journals and analyzed using a Heideggerian phenomenological approach. Outcomes of the self-care classes described by nurses included: (a) noticing sensations of warmth, tingling, and pulsation which were relaxing, (b) becoming aware of an enhanced problem solving ability, and (c) noticing an increased ability to focus on patient needs. Hospitals willing to invest in self-care options for nurses can anticipate patient and work related benefits.
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Spiritual care has been recognized as integral to nursing care for centuries, as described by Florence Nightingale, and has been studied in both medicine and sociology. Health care institutions, particularly faith-based health systems, also have recognized the importance of spiritual care. Both qualitative and quantitative research support the importance of spirituality in patient health. Although the profession, health care institutions, and research support spiritual care, there is no empirically derived theoretical framework to guide research in spiritual assessment and spiritual care. We used focus group data from registered nurses who care for the chronically ill (n = 25) in a large Midwestern academic health center to generate a grounded theory of spiritual care in nursing practice. What emerged from this study was a beginning theoretical framework to guide future spiritual care research.