Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

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.