Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

What is known about the spirituality in older adults living in residential care facilities? An Integrative review

AIM: To synthesize evidence regarding the spiritual needs and care of older adults living in residential care facilities from the perspectives of older adults and nurses or caregivers. DESIGN: Integrative review of literature. DATA SOURCES: Literature search was conducted using CINAHL Plus with Full Text via EBSCO, Scopus, PubMed, PsychInfo, Web of Science, and ProQuest Social Science Databases from March to December 2017. REVIEW METHODS: This integrative review utilised the Whittemore and Knafl framework and PRISMA in the selection of eligible articles. Quality of the articles was evaluated using the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool. RESULTS: Seven articles were reviewed and analysed. There is limited evidence \and no agreed definition of spiritual needs and care of older adults living in residential care facilities. Spiritual needs of older adults in residential care facilities is a psycho-social, religious and existential construct. Spiritual care in residential care facilities is linked to information gathering, religious guidance, maintaining family connections, providing companionship, discussing end of life issues, and providing counseling. Older adults highly value the role of nurses and caregivers in fulfilling their spiritual needs and providing spiritual care. However, nurses and caregivers perceived arranging a referral to a religious advisor as the main aspect of spiritual care. Therefore, nurses’, caregivers’, and older adults’ views on spiritual care differed to some extent. CONCLUSION: The practical aspects of spiritual needs assessment and spiritual care provision requires further investigation, which is essential to improve the effectiveness of service delivery in residential care facilities.