Australian patient preferences for discussing spiritual issues in the hospital setting: An exploratory mixed methods study


While there is high patient acceptance for clinical staff discussing issues regarding spirituality with hospital inpatients, it is not clear which staff member patients prefer for these discussions. This unique exploratory study investigated inpatient preferences regarding which staff member should raise the topic of spirituality. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with inpatients at six hospitals in Sydney, Australia (n=897), with a subset invited to participate in qualitative interviews (n=41). Pastoral care staf (32.9%) were the preferred staf members with whom to discuss spiritual issues, followed by doctors (22.4%). Qualitative fndings indicated that individual characteristics of the staf member are more important than their role.


spirituality, spiritual history, patient preferences, patient– clinician interaction, healthcare professionals

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