Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Addressing spiritual needs and overall satisfaction with service provision among older hospitalied patients

Little research has examined the relationship between addressing older adults’ spiritual needs and overall satisfaction with service provision during hospitalization, despite the importance of spirituality and religion to most older adults. This study examined this relationship, in tandem with the effects of eight potential mediators. Toward this end, structural equation modeling was used with a sample of 4,112 adults age 65 and older who were consecutively discharged over a 12-month period from hospitals in California, Texas, and New England. As hypothesized, addressing spiritual needs was positively associated with overall satisfaction. The relationship between spiritual needs and satisfaction was fully mediated by seven variables: nursing staff, the discharge process, visitors, physicians, the admissions process, room quality, and the administration of tests and treatments. The diverse array of mediating pathways identified highlights the importance of health care practitioners working collaboratively to address older adults’ spiritual needs.