The relational model of spiritual engagement depicted by palliative care clients and caregivers

Authors

  • Joy Penman RN MN,

    Lecturer, Corresponding author
    • Nursing and Rural Health Unit, Centre for Regional Engagement, University of South Australia, Whyalla Norrie, South Australia, Australia
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  • Mary Oliver RN PhD,

    Former Associate Dean
    1. Teaching and Learning, Centre for Regional Engagement, University of South Australia, Whyalla Norrie, South Australia, Australia
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  • Ann Harrington RN PhD

    Senior Lecturer
    1. School of Nursing & Midwifery, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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Correspondence: Joy Penman, Nursing and Rural Health Unit, Centre for Regional Engagement, University of South Australia, 111 Nicolson Avenue, Whyalla Norrie, SA 5608, Australia. Email: joy.penman@unisa.edu.au

Abstract

This paper aims to explicate the essence of spiritual engagement from the perspective of palliative care clients and their caregivers. Van Manen's hermeneutic phenomenological approach guided this study. In-depth interviews of 14 rural Australian participants with experience of a life-limiting condition provided rich discourse of the lived experience of spiritual engagement. This research highlights spiritual engagement represented in a relational model developed from a creative synthesis of the emerging themes. Spiritual engagement is associated with ‘personal transformation’, ‘human values of love, compassion and altruism’, ‘maintaining relationships’, ‘participating in religious practices’ and ‘culture’. The findings of this research are supported by Mayes’ observations on spirituality, that is, the ‘pursuit of a trans-personal and trans-temporal reality that serves as the ontological ground for an ethic of compassion and service’.

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