Human Development Index and its association with staff spiritual care provision: a Middle Eastern oncology study

Bar-Sela G., Schultz M. J., Elshamy K., Rassouli M., Ben-Arye E., Doumit M., ...More

SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER, vol.27, no.9, pp.3601-3610, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00520-019-04733-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3601-3610
  • Keywords: Spiritual care, Human Development Index, Middle East, Oncology, Palliative care, Prayer, PALLIATIVE CARE, NURSES PERCEPTIONS, ADVANCED CANCER, MUSLIM NURSES, PERSPECTIVES, PHYSICIANS, BELIEFS, PATIENT, DOCTORS, END
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


BackgroundAlthough staff spiritual care provision plays a key role in patient-centered care, there is insufficient information on international variance in attitudes toward spiritual care and its actual provision.MethodsA cross-sectional survey of the attitudes of Middle Eastern oncology physicians and nurses toward eight examples of staff provision of spiritual care: two questionnaire items concerned prayer, while six items related to applied information gathering, such as spiritual history taking, referrals, and encouraging patients in their spirituality. In addition, respondents reported on spiritual care provision for their last three advanced cancer patients.ResultsSeven hundred seventy responses were received from 14 countries (25% from countries with very high Human Development Index (HDI), 41% high, 29% medium, 5% low). Over 63% of respondents positively viewed the six applied information gathering items, while significantly more, over 76%, did so among respondents from very high HDI countries (p value range, p<0.001 to p=0.01). Even though only 42-45% overall were positively inclined toward praying with patients, respondents in lower HDI countries expressed more positive views (p<0.001). In interaction analysis, HDI proved to be the single strongest factor associated with five of eight spiritual care examples (p<0.001 for all). Significantly, the Middle Eastern respondents in our study actually provided actual spiritual care to 47% of their most recent advanced cancer patients, compared to only 27% in a parallel American study, with the key difference identified being HDI.ConclusionsA country's development level is a key factor influencing attitudes toward spiritual care and its actual provision. Respondents from lower ranking HDI countries proved relatively more likely to provide spiritual care and to have positive attitudes toward praying with patients. In contrast, respondents from countries with higher HDI levels had relatively more positive attitudes toward spiritual care interventions that involved gathering information applicable to patient care.