Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

What GPs mean by ‘spirituality’ and how they apply this concept with patients: a qualitative study

Background: Little is known about how the concept of spirituality is understood and applied by GPs. Aim: To provide a detailed description of how GPs understand the concept of spirituality and apply this with patients. Design & setting: Nineteen Scottish GPs were interviewed about their perceptions of the concept of spirituality and how they apply this in practice. Method: An approach informed by grounded theory was used to identify and summarise common themes. Results: Seven concepts concerning spirituality emerged, some of which are previously unrecognised. Four attitudes to spiritual care and four patterns of spiritual care were identified. Conclusion: GPs have varying views on what spirituality is, and these relate partly to individual beliefs and experiences. These create considerable variation in the delivery of spiritual care.