The title of this study, “Exploration of Clinical Nurses’ Perception of Spirituality and Spiritual Care,” clearly identifies the general idea under investigation. Although the authors gave their study a short title of just ten words, readers can easily tell what the study entails. The title also gives information identifying the qualifications of the authors of this study. The information given in the title identifies Wu Li-Fen as a Registered Nurse (RN), a PhD holder and an Associate Professor at the Department of Nursing; National Taichung Nursing College. On the other hand, the information provided recognizes Lih-Ying Li as a Registered Nurse (RN) who holds a Masters degree in Nursing and a director of the Department of Nursing at Taichung Veterans General Hospital.
The abstract of this study gives the readers a clear and concise summery of the study. The abstract gives the background information, purpose of study, methods used, results and the conclusion/implications of the study. The abstract illustrates to the readers the need for this study, the problem statement, the research design, an overview of the results and the implications of the study. The abstract also included key words which can be essential for others who need to find more about the research through computerized search
The study does not clearly indicate the problem statement. The problem statement is however implied. The authors clearly indicate the purpose of their research, “to investigate the role played by demographic characteristics of nurses in determining perception differences of spirituality and spiritual care” (Wu & Lin, 2011).The significance of the purpose of the study can be traced from the background information. The researchers reaffirm Nightingale’s point of view. They agree with her idea that the patients’ health can be enhanced if nurses realize the psychological and spiritual needs of their patients. It also acknowledges the contribution of Chan’s study (2010) that seconds Nightingale’s call. The authors also indicate the significance of their study by showing concern regarding the limited number of studies conducted on this topic so far. The project appears to be significant because it aimed at revealing the perception of nurses’ on spiritual matters; and the significance of this issue in relation to their nursing profession. The project does not appear feasible because of the limitations inherent in the study. The authors however affirm their topic is researchable by citing several other studies.
Literature Review and Theoretical framework
The literature provided by the authors relied on both ancient and current sources Most of the references were secondary sources. The references are pertinent and representative of the issues under investigation. The authors utilized theoretical framework as a means of revealing to the readers its relation to their study. The literature review enables readers to comprehend the meaning and importance of spirituality. Spirituality refers to “a quality that goes beyond religious affiliation, which strives for aspirations, reverence, awe, meaning and purpose even on those who do not believe in uprightness” (as cited in Murray& Zentner, 1989). “Spirituality provides one with a sense meaning and life purpose, which does not depend on beliefs and practices of a given religion” (as cited in Mansfield, Mitchell & King, 2002). According to Wu & Li (2011) their literature review provides instances that associate spiritual care with the quality of interpersonal care.
Research Design Elements
They employed Cross sectional descriptive design that included a survey questionnaire to gather responses from 349 of participants within a specified period.
The research design did not openly state the hypothesis for the study. However, the research designed implied the purpose of the study. The participants’ demographic profiles formed the study’s dependent variables. Only clinical nurses were allowed to take part in the study. Nursing profession was the independent variable.
Study Setting and Instruments
The researchers sent the participants a letter indicating the need and directions for the study together with the questionnaire. The researchers gave information regarding the validity and reliability used by conducting a pilot study that seconded the efficacy of the instruments. The pilot study revealed that the questionnaires could be filled within 15-20 minute. The research assistant distributed a total of 350 questionnaires. 349 participants returned their dully filled questionnaires (99.71% response rate). “Descriptive statistics provided a description of the participants’ demographic characteristics” (Wu & Li, 2011). The researcher used GPower v3.1 software to analyze f- test. The researchers also used purposive sampling, and randomly selected one working day.
The study considered ethical issues and the confidentiality of the participants. The study received the green light to proceed from the hospital’s institutional review board. All participants underwent screening for eligibility and made to realize the importance of the study; and confidentiality of their test data guaranteed. Only one participant failed to return her questionnaire.
Protection of Human Subjects
The sample used exactly represented the selected population. The researchers collected data from clinical nurses at the Taiwan medical center. All participants received a questionnaire on which they indicated their demographic profiles. The researchers depended on the participants on duty on a selected day. Out of the 1,500 clinical nurses at the hospital, only 350 of them participated in the research. The sample appeared insignificant to the target population. Since the study occurred in a single hospital, the sample did not represent the target population (Taiwan community). An independent t-test and ANOVA appeared useful in the determination of variations in the nurses’ perceptions of spirituality or provision of spiritual care and nurses’ demographic features” (Wu & Li, 2011).
The procedure used to collect data appears well defined and can be used to get a replica of the same. The participants filled their demographic profiles on questionnaires supplied to them based on the SSCRS-C scale. Although the study took place in one hospital, similar results can be recorded in other hospitals using the SSCRS-C.
The researchers of the study used demographic characteristics to describe the subjects under study. The nurses recorded their demographic profile on the questionnaire. Their demographic statistics comprised of gender, age, educational level, clinical experience, specialty and religion. “SSCRS-C occurred into four additional subscales: Existential elements (5), Spiritual care (5), Religiosity (5) and personalized care” (Wu & Li, 2011). The demographic profiles enabled the researchers have a clear picture of the participants’ background. The Information appeared useful in the determination of variations in the nurses’ perceptions of spirituality or provision of spiritual care and nurses’ demographic features”
The study’s statistical results prove to be significant and reliable. The researchers set a p value of.05 at the beginning of the study. Most of the parameters on the SSCRS-C scale fell within this range. However, a number of them disagreed.
The study statistics are clearly reported but difficult to comprehend. The SSCRS-C scale produced a mean of 65.85. Women represented 99.71% (n=348) of the participants while men accounted for only 0.29% (n=1). Participants’’ ages ranged form 23-64 years with a mean age of 37.3 years. Bachelors degree seemed to be the highest education level of the most participants (69.34%, n=242). The clinical experience varied from 1-40 years putting the mean of professional experience at 13.42. The statistics computed do not clearly reflect the clinical significance of the study. Each item on the SSCRS-C scale reveals significant data that contributed to the mean and the conclusion of their study. The nursing profession requires a holistic approach to one’s life. This entails physical, psychological, social and spiritual care. Having a personal, spiritual perspective enables nurses to ensure the acquisition of value and purpose in life by their patients’. This also enables nurses to provide spiritual care to their patients during illness and /or hospitalization (Wu & Li, 2011). Previous studies led to the development of the SSCRS-C scale as a measure of the perception of nurses in regard to spirituality and spiritual care.
The study concluded that education has a substantial influence on the nurses’ perception of these two issues. The study realized that a higher education level or enhanced spiritual care lessons would improve a nurse’s perception. However, their sample failed to encompass the targeted population. Therefore, their conclusion could not be generalized to the targeted population (Taiwan community). These insights encouraged the authors to recommend additional education programs or spiritual care training for nurses so as to enhance their perception of the two issues. Their findings appeared to be in agreement with the previous study.
This study had two limitations. First, the study depended mostly on female participants. 348 out 349 participants were female nurses. Thus, the study lacked gender balance. Secondly, the study concentrated on one main hospital in Taiwan. Therefore, the findings could not be generalized to the target population (Taiwan community). However, the findings could be generalized to the Taiwan the Medical center community in which the study occurred. The study does not have other identifiable limitations. The researchers who conducted this study suggested that future studies should ensure gender equality and randomly sample different hospitals.
The validity and usability of the study results capture the confidence of the readers. The results from this study appear valid and usable because of the targeted sample setting and the rationale used in data collection. The study found out that nurses’ understanding of the two issues depends on the level of education and spiritual care training. The study’s findings provide a logical correlation between the participant’s level of education and their understanding of spirituality and spiritual care. They found out that the degree of understanding increased with an increase in the educational level. Their correlation depended on the SSCRS-C scale which proves to be a reliable tool of measurement.
The authors of this study compared their findings to the previous findings. Their findings concurred with previous findings that additional education would increase a nurse’s perception of spirituality and spiritual care. However, their findings disagreed with one earlier finding which suggested that religious belief could also influence the nurses’ perception. Their study found no correlation between nurses’ perception and religious affiliations.
Wu, Li-Fen and Lin, Lih-Ying. (2011). Exploration of Clinical Nurses’ Perception of Spirituality and Spiritual Care. Journal of Nursing Research, 19.4. Web.