Objectives: The aim was to identify determinants of nurse spiritual/existential care practices toward end-of-life patients. Nurses can play a significant role in providing spiritual/existential care, but they actually provide this care less frequently than desired by patients.

Methods: A systematic search was performed for peer-reviewed articles that reported factors that influenced nurses’ spiritual/existential care practices toward adult end-of-life patients.

Results: The review identified 42 studies and included the views of 4,712 nurses across a range of hospital and community settings. The most frequently reported factors/domains that influenced nurse practice were patient-related social influence, skills, social/professional role and identity, intentions and goals, and environmental context and resources.

Significance of results: A range of personal, organizational, and patient-related factors influence nurse provision of spiritual/existential care to end-of-life patients. This complete list of factors can be used to gauge a unit's conduciveness to nurse provision of spiritual/existential care and can be used as inputs to nurse competency frameworks.


barriers and facilitators, end of life, nurse, spiritual/existential care, systematic review

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