Although enhancing spiritual care can facilitate the communication of mental health nurses with patients diagnosed with mental illnesses, extrinsic and intrinsic factors that may influence their spiritual care attitudes remain unclear.
To conduct a questionnaire-based survey on mental health nurses from eight hospitals.
A total of 239 psychiatric nurses were assessed based on (1) “big-five Mini-Markers” questionnaire, and (2) spiritual care attitudes scale on three components (i.e., core values, growth, and nursing) to investigate the associations of spiritual care attitudes with social/occupational characteristics and personality.
A positive attitude was significantly associated with working experience, higher educational level, previous participation in palliative care education programmes, spiritual care experience, and personality factors including “Extraversion”, “Openness/Intellect”, “Conscientiousness”, and “Agreeableness”
Despite demonstrating impacts of intrinsic factors (e.g., personality) on mental health nurses’ spiritual care attitudes, other modifiable extrinsic factors (e.g., education) were important in enhancing their awareness towards spiritual care.
Implications for practice
Our findings encourage further studies to explore possible links between intrinsic factors and attitudes of mental health nurses towards spiritual care as well as suggest benefits of continuing education and on-the-job training that involves actual practice and collaboration in a multidisciplinary team to provide spiritual care.