Spiritual-Care Process and Content: Lessons Learned From the ECHO Project

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PurposeTo describe the process and content of spiritual caregiving delivered by a minister to 18 homeless male addicts in recovery and to determine whether and how advanced practice nurses can integrate similar counseling into practice.Data SourcesNotes from the minister's clinical sessions with individuals in the study sample were analyzed to identify the procedures used in spiritual counseling and the overall content of the interactions. Results were then reviewed in light of the literature on the nurse's role in spiritual caregiving to determine realistic implications for practice.Implications for PracticeAdvanced practice nurses are currently mandated to integrate spiritual care into clinical practice as part of their holistic-practice model. Although theoretically sound, in practice, the time-dependent and specialized nature of spiritual caregiving may be more appropriately and effectively delivered by ministers as part of the primary care team when time, personal, and other constraints exist.

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