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Spirituality and depression : the role of spirituality in the process of recovering from depression Rajakumar, Sarojni

Abstract

Increasingly, nurses and other health care providers promote holistic care options and there is, correspondingly, a growing trend towards recognizing and advocating the inclusion of spirituality in patient care. However, the understanding and provision of spiritual care in psychiatric nursing practice, especially how spirituality helps in recovering from depression has not kept pace with this trend. Given the increasing recognition of the influence of spirituality in health and healing, a deeper understanding of how spirituality helps patients recover from depression would be of value to health care professionals in the provision of care. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of spirituality in recovering from depression, and to develop a greater understanding of how spirituality affects the recovery process of depression. Significant knowledge can be gained from participant's stories of what spirituality means to them and how it has helped them to recovery from depression. Thus the research design utilized for this study was qualitative narrative inquiry, as outlined by (Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach and Zilber, 1998). Eight face to face interviews were conducted with individuals who identified themselved as having depression and who indentified that spirituality has helped them in recovering from depression. The findings of this study revealed that spirituality played a significant role for the participants in their recovery from depression. The study also revealed that spirituality was experienced as connections (god/higher power, self, others, and nature), and through these connections participants found meaning and purpose in their lives. The implications for this study is that it will inform nurses, nurse educators, and other health care practitioners of the importance of patients spirituality in the course of their recovery from depression. This information will also enable nurses to assess clients spiritual needs and provide an atmosphere for clients to express their spirituality. The findings of the study will contribute to nurses providing formal and informal spiritual interventions when caring for patients who are depressed.

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