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How family practice physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants incorporate spiritual care in practice

Authors

  • Ruth A. Tanyi DrPH, Preventive Care Specialist, RN, MSN, FNP-C, APRN-BC,

    Certified Nutrition Specialist, ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (Family Nurse Practitioner), Corresponding author
    1. Prevention & Wellness Services, Loma Linda, California 92354
    2. Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, California 92354
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  • Monica McKenzie DrPH, Health Education and Promotion, RN, MPH, CHES,

    CLE Health Educator
    1. Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, California 92354
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  • Cynthia Chapek RN, MSN, FNP, APRN-BC

    Family Nurse Practitioner
    1. Luther Midelfort–Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
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Ruth A. Tanyi, DrPH, RN, MSN, FNP-C, APRN-BC (ACSM), P.O. Box 1185, Loma Linda, CA 92354.
Tel: 909-557-7269; Fax: 909-799-9093;
E-mail: rtanyi@yahoo.com

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate how primary care family practice providers incorporate spirituality into their practices in spite of documented barriers.

Data Sources: A phenomenological qualitative design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three physicians, five nurse practitioners, and two physician assistants.

Conclusions: Five major theme clusters emerged: (1) discerning instances for overt spiritual assessment; (2) displaying a genuine and caring attitude; (3) encouraging the use of existing spiritual practices; (4) documenting spiritual care for continuity of care; (5) managing perceived barriers to spiritual care.

Implications for Practice: Findings support that patients' spiritual needs can be addressed in spite of documented barriers. Techniques to assist providers in providing spiritual care are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.

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