Care of patients frequently focuses on the physical aspects of disease. Seldom are these individuals invited to share their spiritual and psychosocial needs, or discuss how their lives have changed as a result of their circumstance. And yet, seriously ill patients have indicated that the possibility of continued spiritual suffering adds to the distress associated with their illness.
Spirituality, broadly defined, gives meaning and purpose to life, and is often a central issue for patients dealing with cancer and chronic illness or those at the end of life. Growing evidence has demonstrated that spirituality is an important component of quality of life (allowing individuals to effectively face the circumstances of life, and cope with feelings of loss, hopelessness, despair, guilt, shame, anger, or abandonment), and affects patients' healthcare decision making and healthcare outcomes.
Despite a strong evidence base, few health care professionals are prepared to talk to patients about spiritual needs, believing that such discussions require a substantial time commitment and because they do not know how to meet such needs.
Participants will be introduced to:
1. The importance of spirituality
2. Ways healthcare professionals might identify issues of spirituality through use of the FICA Tool
3. Ways to integrate spirituality into person-centred care.