Evaluation tools for spiritual support in end of life care: increasing evidence for their clinical application

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To summarize current evidence on evaluation tools for spiritual care, paying special attention to recent validations and new instruments, systematic reviews, recent consensus on spiritual care and its measurement, plus other emergent topics.

Recent findings

The systematic review resulted in 45 identified studies, 14 of which were considered: five works addressed the need for development and validation of spiritual tools; three studies reviewed tools for spirituality assessment, interventions, or related concepts; three more covered the efforts to define guidelines and priorities for spiritual care and its measurement. Other topics such as pediatric spiritual care, the use of new technologies, or nationwide surveys, also arose.

Summary

Recent contributions outline usability traits such as to shorten scales and measurement protocols for maximum respect of patients’ quality of life. Other works addressed complicated grief or satisfaction with attention to spiritual care, transcending the patients, family and professionals’ focus in on a sort of combined perspective. Further attention to culturally based specific models supporting questionnaires, a deeper understanding of quality of the spiritual care, both for patients and families, or further research on the relation between spiritual care and life span should be welcomed.

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