Background: Spirituality may play an important role in neurorehabilitation, however research findings indicate that rehabilitation professionals do not feel well equipped to deliver spiritual care.

Objective: To evaluate a spiritual care training program for rehabilitation professionals.

Methods: An exploratory controlled trial was conducted. Participants enrolled in a two-module spiritual care training program. Spiritual care competency was measured with the Spiritual Care Competency Scale. Confidence and comfort levels were measured using the Spiritual Care Competency Scale domains. The Spirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale assessed participant attitudes and knowledge. Measures were administered three times: pre-program, post-program and six weeks follow-up.

Results: The training (n = 41) and control (n = 32) groups comprised rehabilitation professionals working in spinal cord or traumatic brain injury units. No between-group differences were observed on the study variables at the pre-program time point. Multilevel models found that levels of spiritual care competency, confidence, comfort, and ratings on existential spirituality increased significantly for the training group (versus control) post-program (p < 0.05) and these significant differences were maintained at follow-up.

Conclusions: A brief spiritual care training program can be effective in increasing levels of self-reported competency, confidence and comfort in delivery of spiritual care for rehabilitation professionals.


spirituality, spiritual care, health professionals, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, rehabilitation

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