How family practice physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants incorporate spiritual care in practice

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Purpose:To investigate how primary care family practice providers incorporate spirituality into their practices in spite of documented barriers.Data Sources:A phenomenological qualitative design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three physicians, five nurse practitioners, and two physician assistants.Conclusions:Five major theme clusters emerged: (1) discerning instances for overt spiritual assessment; (2) displaying a genuine and caring attitude; (3) encouraging the use of existing spiritual practices; (4) documenting spiritual care for continuity of care; (5) managing perceived barriers to spiritual care.Implications for Practice:Findings support that patients' spiritual needs can be addressed in spite of documented barriers. Techniques to assist providers in providing spiritual care are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.

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