In the context of a growing body of international research, though not in German-speaking countries, this study examines 1) the spirituality of psychiatric staff, 2) staff's attitudes towards religiosity/spirituality of patients, and 3) the integration of religious/spiritual contents into therapeutic methods.Methods
An anonymous survey distributed to the staff in the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy of German university hospitals and confessional clinics (total 21 Hospitals). The surveýs main instruments were DRI (Duke University Religion Index) and the questionnaire of Curlin et al. (2007). In this study, staff means medical, therapeutic and nursing staff working directly with patients between October 2010 and February 2011.ResultsThe response rate was 24.43% (n=1654). Contrary to the assumption that psychiatric staff has low to no spirituality, results suggested that they are more spiritual, showing a spirituality of 7.00 on a scale of 12.0. Moreover, the psychiatric staff believes that religiosity/spirituality plays an important role for patients, for example, support of religious communities or motivation for keeping therapies. Religious/spiritual contents seem, however, to be taken with care and precaution and their integration into psychiatric therapeutic methods, especially specific contents such as prayer, looks quite difficult. The most frequent reasons are professional neutrality, insufficient time/occasion and insufficient knowledge.Conclusions
Religious/spiritual contents have not been integrated yet in psychiatric therapy methods, although they are regarded generally positive to patients. Further studies and discussion about religious/spiritual matters, particularly professional neutrality in therapeutic settings, are essential to overcome these problems for patients and staff.