Spirituality may play a huge role in a patients’ recovery from illness when there is little hope, meaning and purpose in their life, a new study suggests.
Researchers said the term ‘spirituality’ is now widely used to describe the qualities that give people hope, meaning and purpose.
In the case of patients, it can aid their recovery, they said.
“It helps to sustain health care workers and patients by recognising and supporting a sense of meaning and purpose in life,” said Melanie Rogers, a Senior Lecturer and Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the University of Huddersfield.
“It can improve resilience in patients and practitioners alike, in addition to improving the experience of illness and crisis in patients,” said Rogers.
She acknowledges that for some people, spirituality derives from religious beliefs. But for many others it stems from factors such as their relationships, community connections and special interests.
“Spirituality and the practitioners approach to their patients play a huge part in recovery from illness,” said Rogers.
“One way is to spend time listening to the patient – being fully present and engaged in the relationship. Spirituality is about the patient being the focus and it is very practical, not at all airy fairy, and we know it sustains health care workers and patients,” said Rogers.