Caring Spiritually: A Study on Spiritual Care Training in a Hospice Setting

Dorte Toudal Viftrup*, Frederik Rosenbæk, Hanne Højsager Damgaard, Mette Hemdrup, Marianne Nielsen, Ricko Damberg Nissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Spiritual care can improve patients' physical and emotional well-being, but patients at the end of life often experience their spiritual needs are not being sufficiently met by the health care professionals. This is caused by barriers among health care professionals that stem from inadequate education on spiritual care and lack of self-reflection on spiritual topics. By participating in spiritual care training, health care professionals seem to gain the knowledge, confidence, and skills they need to care spiritually for patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect and experiences of a training course in spiritual care for 30 nurses working at a Danish hospice. This was done by means of both a before-and-after questionnaire and focus group interviews. The course focused primarily on the nurses and their personal and collegial reflections on spiritual care, whereas increased spiritual care for patients seemed to be a secondary outcome of the course. There was a significant statistical correlation between the nurses' values and spirituality, and their confidence in being able to exercise spiritual care for patients. The training course facilitated spiritual empowerment, collegial spiritual care, and spiritual language among the nurses, which led to increased spiritual care for patients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of hospice and palliative nursing : JHPN : the official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)156-164
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • educational course
  • end of life
  • focus groups
  • hospice
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • mixed method
  • nurses
  • palliative care
  • spiritual care
  • training course
  • Spirituality
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Hospices
  • Spiritual Therapies
  • Health Personnel


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