Background Spiritual care is a fundamental domain of palliative and end-of-life care. Addressing spiritual care empowers patients to take ownership of what is important to them. All healthcare professionals should feel confident to address patients’ spiritual needs and provide tailored individual care and support.
Aims To demonstrate that a concise educational intervention improves healthcare professionals’ confidence for undertaking assessment and providing spiritual care for every hospice inpatient.
Methods A retrospective audit of spiritual assessments within patient electronic records, from January to March 2022, was conducted against agreed audit standards. An evaluation of healthcare professionals’ confidence in dealing with spiritual assessment was obtained from hospice inpatient unit clinicians using an anonymous survey. An educational session was created and delivered in response to survey results. Finally, the re-audit was undertaken from September 2022 to November 2022 and a post-educational session anonymous survey used to evaluate confidence in dealing with spiritual assessment.
Results Healthcare professionals’ confidence when addressing spiritual care needs, following an educational session, which 35/39 (90%) staff attended, demonstrates a significant increase in clinicians’ confidence when assessing spiritual needs from 11/37 (30%) to 29/35 (83%) and in providing spiritual care from 5/37 (14%) to 32/35 (86%). The documentation audit findings demonstrate a meaningful increase from 4/30 (14%) to 34/56 (60%) for spiritual needs care plan being developed and documented within patient electronic records to improve quality care for every hospice inpatient.
Conclusion Educated and confident staff are more likely to address patients’ spiritual needs. Spiritual awareness and its importance for patients’ quality of life at the end-of-life empowers healthcare professionals to make changes in the way they deliver care to patients. Educated and confident staff are more likely to assess and document spiritual needs and care information within patient electronic records, to improve quality care for every hospice inpatient.
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