The Essence of Spirituality of Terminally Ill Patients


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Abstract

The purpose of this her meneutic study was to investigate the essence of spirituality of terminally ill patients. In-depth unstructured interviews were used as the method for data collection. In the six-month period of data collection, the researcher was in the role of a hospice palliative care consultant who directly took care of the subject patients in a hospice ward of a teaching hospital. The six subjects were selected purposively according to various demographic backgrounds. Interview transcripts provided the data for analysis. The results were composed of four constitutive patterns and ten themes. The first constitutive pattern was “Communion with Self” which included three themes: (1) Self-identity-spirituality is the discovery of the authentic self. (2) Wholeness-a human being is full of contradictions but still in whole ness. (3) Inner peace-spirituality is negotiating conflicts for self-reconciliation. The second constitutive pattern was “Communion with others” which included two themes: (1) Love-spirituality is a caring relation ship but not an over-attachment to others. (2) Reconciliation-spirituality is to for give and to be for given. The third constitutive pattern was “Communion with Nature” which included two themes: (1) Inspiration from the nature-spirituality is there sonance of the marvelous beauty of nature. (2) Creativity-spirituality is conceiving imaginatively. The fourth constitutive pattern was “Communion with Higher Being” which included three themes: (1) Faithfulness-spirituality is keeping the trust dependably. (2) Hope-spirituality is claiming possibilities. (3) Gratitude-spirituality is giving thanks and embracing grace. The scientific rigor of this qualitative research as well as the strength and limitations of the study are reported. Implications for hospice palliative care and future research are recommended.

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