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“All my saints are within me”: Expressions of end-of-life spirituality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2012

Marjorie C. Dobratz
Affiliation:
University of Washington Tacoma - Nursing Program, Tacoma, Washington
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objective:

With spirituality being one of the most important components of end-of-life (EOL) care, this study explored the oral responses of 44 dying persons who expressed spirituality.

Method:

Four identified spiritual themes: religious systems of beliefs and values, life meaning, purpose and connections with others, nonreligious systems of beliefs and values, and metaphysical or transcendental phenomena served as a framework for a content analysis of 91 spiritual references.

Results:

From the content analysis, eight interrelated and separate themes emerged. Although the highest number of responses centered on religious beliefs and values, nonreligious beliefs and values that included reason, dignity, mental discipline, and communion were expressed. The themes of life meaning, purpose, and connections with others also surfaced as important aspects of EOL spirituality.

Significance of results:

The findings support the need for hospice/palliative care professionals to approach spirituality from other than a Judeo-Christian viewpoint, help dying persons create meaning and purpose within the context of their lives, and assist them in their desire for connectedness to faith communities and other significant individuals in their lives.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012 

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