Purpose: This study explored the impact of a brief spiritual care training program upon the perceptions and self-reported practice of rehabilitation professionals working in traumatic injury.

Methodology and methods: A qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were held with staff from a rehabilitation hospital in Sydney, Australia, between six and eight weeks after participation in spiritual care training. A thematic analysis was conducted.

Results: Of the 41 rehabilitation professionals who attended the training (1 h online, 1.5 h face to face), 16 agreed to be interviewed. The majority worked in spinal cord injury and were female. Half reported holding a Christian affiliation. One overarching theme and six sub-themes were identified from the qualitative data. The overarching theme was “spirituality is everybody’s business”. The six sub-themes were: (i) increased awareness of the nature of spirituality, (ii) realisation of the importance of spirituality to clients, (iii) a desire to keep spirituality on the radar, (iv) identifying barriers to providing spiritual care (v) incorporating spirituality into practice, and, (vi) recognising spirituality as personally meaningful.

Conclusions: A brief spiritual care training program can impact positively upon perceptions and practice of rehabilitation professionals. Ongoing training is needed to ensure that staff retain what was learnt.

  • Brief spiritual care training can impact positively upon rehabilitation professionals’ perceptions of spirituality and lead to practice change in the delivery of spiritual care across many clinical disciplines.
  • The stories of patients and family members are powerful staff education tools in spiritual care training.
  • Client spirituality is an under recognised resource that staff can draw upon in supporting and enhancing the rehabilitation process.


spirituality, spiritual care, training, evaluation, health professions, rehabilitation

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