An exploration of the understanding of spirituality among patients and staff of the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital
Nkomo, Thobeka Sweetness
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Until recently, the health professions have largely followed a medical model, which seeks to treat patients by focusing on medicine and surgery, and gives less importance to beliefs and to the faith in healing, in the physician, and in the doctor-patient relationship. This reductionist view of patients being only material body is no longer satisfactory. Patients and healthcare professionals have begun to value the role of elements such as faith, spirituality, hope and compassion in the healing process. The effect of such spiritual elements in health and quality of life has led to research in this field in an attempt to move towards a more holistic view, which included the non-material dimension. The goal of this study was to explore the understanding of spirituality among healthcare professionals and patients at the CHBAH. The primary research question, which this study attempted to answer, was: What is the understanding of spirituality among the healthcare professionals and patients at CHBAH? In view of this primary research question, the following secondary research questions were formulated: * What does a literature review produce regarding spirituality in healthcare and what are the current practices related to spirituality in healthcare. * What are the views of healthcare professionals and patients concerning the relevance of spirituality in their day-to-day lives and healthcare interventions? * What are the spiritual needs of patients and to what extent does spirituality contribute towards their coping with health-related issues? * Which practical and scientific recommendations can be offered to healthcare professionals regarding including/incorporating spirituality in healthcare services in CHBAH? In view of the aim, the researcher identified the following specific objectives for this study: * To explore spirituality in healthcare by means of a literature review; * To explore and describe the views of medical social workers and other healthcare professionals about the relevance of spirituality in a healthcare setting; * To explore and describe the understanding of spirituality among healthcare professionals and patients in CHBAH; * To propose a protocol as an organizational framework on the incorporation of spirituality in healthcare at CHBAH. This protocol should be implemented during social workers‟ and other healthcare professionals‟ interactions with patients. Chapter 1 provides an introduction, problem formulation, goal, research question and the objectives of this study and a brief overview of the methodology. Chapter 2 focuses on the description of research methodology that was utilised in this study. Chapter 3 is composed of a literature study on spirituality and the religions identified and explored in CHBAH, as well as existing practices related to spirituality in health care. In Chapter 4, the data generated through narratives from focus-group discussions and healthcare professionals‟ spiritual journey is processed and reported. In Chapter 5 a proposed protocol for inclusion of spirituality in healthcare services in CHBAH is presented and discussed in detail Chapter 6 consists of the conclusions and summary of this study.
- Humanities