Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 32--41

Palliative care and spirituality


Academy for Ethnic Diversity and Spirituality Group, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Nursing, A Floor, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2HA, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Aru Narayanasamy
Academy for Ethnic Diversity and Spirituality Group, University of Nottingham Preceding Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Nursing, A Floor, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2HA
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.38897

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Critical junctures in patients' lives such as chronic illnesses and advanced diseases may leave the persons in a state of imbalance or disharmony of body, mind and spirit. With regard to spirituality and healing, there is a consensus in literature about the influence of spirituality on recovery and the ability to cope with and adjust to the varying and demanding states of health and illness. Empirical evidence suggests that spiritual support may act as an adjunct to the palliative care of those facing advanced diseases and end of life. In this article, the author draws from his empirical work on spirituality and culture to develop a discourse on palliative care and spirituality in both secular and non-secular settings. In doing so, this paper offers some understanding into the concept of spirituality, spiritual needs and spiritual care interventions in palliative care in terms of empirical evidence. Responding to spiritual needs could be challenging, but at the same time it could be rewarding to both healthcare practitioner (HCP) and patient in that they may experience spiritual growth and development. Patients may derive great health benefits with improvements in their quality of life, resolutions and meaning and purpose in life. It is hoped that the strategies for spiritual support outlined in this paper serve as practical guidelines to HCPs for development of palliative care in South Asia.






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