Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

The experience of spirituality from the perspective of people living with dementia: A systematic review and meta-synthesis

Spirituality is an important aspect of humanity. Concerned with deriving meaning from events, and connection with others, it provides a mechanism for some to cope with illness and disability. While spiritual support is recognised as important, little is known about the spiritual needs of those people experiencing dementia. This meta-synthesis considers the experiences of spirituality from the perspective of people living with a diagnosis of dementia. Using a review protocol, key words from a preliminary scoping review were used to direct database searches in November 2013. A total of 667 papers were initially identified. However, following careful quality review assessment a final eight papers were selected. Findings demonstrated the ongoing importance of spirituality to people living with dementia and its importance as a means of finding hope, meaning and linkage with past, present and future. Expression of spirituality through faith practices, contact with faith communities, and the impact of dementia on these, were also highlighted.