Factors Influencing Hospice Workers Use of Religion and Spirituality in Patient Care

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The Ohio State University

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Research demonstrates the importance of a meaningful link between religion/spirituality (R/S) and the well-being of older adults (Whitehead and Bergeman., 2020; Malone and Dadswell, 2018). There are numerous additional studies that emphasize the benefit of R/S in end-of-life care (Abbas, et al., 2011; Cipriano-Steffens et al., 2021; Richardson, 2014). Selman, et al., (2014) conducted an online international study that surveyed 971 participants from 87 different countries and examined from the practitioner's perspective what is needed in the field of palliative care and found that research on the integration of R/S was needed. Yet, according to a study by Oxhandler, et al., (2015) only 13% of Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) had taken a course in R/S. There is a gap in our knowledge relative to factors that influence the use of R/S within the helping professions (Oxhandler and Giardina, 2017). Therefore, the purpose of this research is to try to identify the extent to which Hospice workers integrate R/S in patient care and what factors influence the use of R/S in patient care. An online survey was used to collect the data (Monkey Survey software). Univariate and bivariate analysis was conducted to analyze the findings. The findings of this study show a majority of respondents are white, female, Christians with a college degree, professional licensure, and are predominately nurses. Even though a majority of the respondents are nurses and nurses tend to follow more of a medical model rather than a social work model which is client self-determination, interestingly, nearly 70% of respondents gather religious and spiritual history from their patients. However, less than 50% of the respondents indicated they were adequately trained to integrate religion/spirituality into patient care. Most of the respondents were religious and their religious attendance was low. Most of the other independent variables were not significantly related to the dependent variables. The only correlations that were significant were the following: use of training was positively correlated with referring patients to other R/S resources were years of experience in hospice care (r = .33, p > .05); frequency of attendance in R/S services is negatively correlated with having confidence in integrating R/S in their work (r = -.34, p > .05); years of experience in hospice care had a moderate correlation with the use of training in practice. The higher number of years of experience in hospice care leads one to be more likely to use their training in R/S when providing care to patients (r = .34, p > .05).



hospice, hospice care worker, end of life, religion, spirituality, training