Matt Snapp, PhD; Lisa Hare, Grad Dip Psych, B. App Sc
There is substantial evidence that spiritual well-being is an important determinant of overall health, longevity and quality of life, especially in patients with severe illness. While most physicians would agree that spiritual well-being is an important factor in their patients’ health, the spiritual needs and well-being of patients are largely ignored and rarely addressed by healthcare providers, representing a significant gap in care. Physicians often cite a lack of training or comfort in assessing and/or addressing patients’ spiritual needs, and a lack of research on the safety and efficacy of spiritual interventions as barriers to care.
In this review, we discuss the effects of spiritual well-being on health, and the importance of assessing and addressing patients’ spiritual needs, highlight the need for methodic, rigorous high-quality studies and improved physician education in identifying and addressing patients’ spiritual needs. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2020;35(1):4-8.)
Matt Snapp, PhD; Director of R & D, University of Sufism, Director, Marifa Foundation, Austin, Texas. Lisa Hare, Grad Dip Psych, B. App Sc; Director of Sufi Healing Pty Ltd, Victoria, Australia.