This article differentiates between the concepts of spirituality and religion and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the research findings related to spirituality, religion, and mental health.PURPOSE
To discuss the importance of clarifying values and becoming self-aware in relation to implementing spiritual and religious interventions. The components of spiritual assessment are presented as well as spiritual coping practices and interventions the nurse might use when working with clients.SOURCES
Review of literature from MEDLINE, CINAHL, and current texts.CONCLUSIONS
Spirituality and religion are too often neglected foci of psychiatric mental health assessment and intervention. In order to maximize therapeutic effectiveness, nurses should be aware that for many patients spirituality is a critical life factor. Accordingly, they should screen patients and strive to meet patient needs for spiritual expression, while recognizing that there are important boundary and ethical issues in psychiatric mental health settings.