Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

The therapeutic dimension of research about spirituality: Particularities of cancer, mental health and infertility

Healthcare is moving from a biomedical paradigm into a holistic paradigm, which includes all dimensions and needs of patients and families. Health conditions may trigger a spiritual journey for believers or non‐believers bringing to light the nature of the human being and its vulnerable condition. Healthcare professionals are full participants in this life and health scenario and have an unquestionable duty related to the provision of spiritual care, on the basis of legislation, ethical codes, and on research evidence. Researchers are seizing better and broader knowledge about spirituality in healthcare, and research about this phenomenon is growing internationally. But, spirituality is considered complex, an area of intimacy and deep subjective meaning. These factors may raise some ethical concerns when submitting research projects to the ethics committees. In this paper, the authors share their experience in research about spirituality in the beginning of life issues/infertility and with adults with severe health conditions, and describe participants’ perspectives on research engagement.