Healthcare Students’ Perceptions About Approaching Spirituality in Their Training and Patient Care: Online, Cross-Sectional Survey

Tulio L Correa, MD; Isabella Cunha Porsche Ferreira, MD; Gabriel Dias de Oliveira, MD; Ricardo Tavares de Carvalho, MD, PhD

 

ABSTRACT

Objective • Recent scientific literature points out that religiosity and spirituality play a relevant role in many aspects of life, including health issues. We aimed to evaluate the healthcare students’ perceptions about approaching spirituality in their training and patient care in Brazilian universities.

Methods • A cross-sectional observational study was conducted following the STROBE guidelines. Through an anonymous online survey, adult healthcare students from two universities in the city of Pelotas (Brazil) answered a questionnaire about their perceptions on approaching spirituality in their training and patient care. Chi-squared tests were performed, and P ≤ .05 was considered statistically significant.

Results • A total of 163 students were included in the analysis. Most believed that spirituality is important for their training (74.8%) and patient care (84%). However, a minority had had contact with the theme of spirituality during their training (48.5%) or had experienced a situation in which the spiritual aspects of a patient were addressed (47.2%). The students from the private university had more contact with the theme of spirituality in healthcare during their training. Nursing students had significantly more contact with the theme of spirituality in healthcare (P = .008) and had experienced more situations in which the spiritual aspects of a patient were addressed (P = .031) than other students.

Conclusion • Most students believed that the theme of spirituality in healthcare is important for their training and patient care. However, they still had insufficient contact with it during their education. More studies with greater statistical power are needed to better understand this situation globally. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2024;38(1):4-8.)

 

Tulio L Correa, MD, Faculty of Medicine, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil; Department of Palliative Care, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Isabella Cunha Porsche Ferreira, MD; Gabriel Dias de Oliveira, MD; Faculty of Medicine, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil. Ricardo Tavares de Carvalho, MD, PhD; Department of Palliative Care, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 

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