• Creating a spiritual tapestry: nurses' experiences of delivering spiritual care to patients in an Irish hospice.

      Bailey, Maria E; Moran, Sue; Graham, Margaret M; Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Science, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick. maria.bailey@ul.ie (2009-01)
      This study aims to describe nurses' experiences of delivering spiritual support in a palliative care setting in the Republic of Ireland. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 22 nurses working in the area of specialist palliative care. A content analysis of the transcriptions revealed five sub-themes: understanding spirituality; the art of nursing in spiritual care; education and learning; the challenge of spiritual caring; and the dimensions of time. The resulting creation of a spiritual tapestry provided an overall theme. Nurses in this study were spiritually self-aware and placed a high value on the spiritual element of their caring role. Nurses described their individual understanding of spirituality and discussed how they recognized and addressed a patient's spiritual needs. Time was described as essential to the provision of spiritual support and appeared to be a significant resource challenge to the provision of spiritual care. The challenges of assessing spiritual needs and measuring outcomes of care were also reported. Participants in this study described the creation of a spiritual tapestry that 'weaves' together care and compassion with skills and knowledge in their nursing practice.
    • Quality-of-life assessment in advanced cancer.

      Donnelly, S; Milford Care Centre, Plassey Park Road, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland. milford@milfordcare.ie (2000-07)
      In the past 5 years, quality-of-life (QOL) assessment measures such as the McGill, McMaster, Global Visual Analogue Scale, Assessment of QOL at the End of Life, Life Evaluation Questionnaire, and Hospice QOL Index have been devised specifically for patients with advanced cancer. The developers of these instruments have tried to respond to the changing needs of this specific population, taking into account characteristics including poor performance status, difficulty with longitudinal study, rapidly deteriorating physical condition, and change in relevant issues. Emphasis has been placed on patient report, ease and speed of completion, and the existential domain or meaning of life. Novel techniques in QOL measurement have also been adapted for palliative care, such as judgment analysis in the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life. It is generally agreed that a single tool will not cover all QOL assessment needs.