Views of mental health practitioners on spirituality in clinical practice, with special reference to the concepts of spiritually competent practice, availability and vulnerability: A qualitative evaluation

Melanie Rogers, John Wattis, Rachel Moser, Rachel Borthwick, Phil Walters, Rose Rickford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Addressing spirituality is part of holistic care. Spirituality is hard to define and may be confused with religion. Thus, it may be neglected by practitioners in mental health care. This study explores the views of mental health practitioners about approaches to spirituality in their practice and the perceived utility of the concepts of 'Spiritually Competent Practice' and 'Availability and Vulnerability' for integrating spirituality into practice. It confirms the need for more education in this area and suggests ways to include spirituality in Mental Health Care. Survey responses were gathered from 104 clinical staff within a mental health trust (8% response rate) in 2018. Thirteen participants were also interviewed. Data were analysed thematically using template analysis with NVivo software. Participants identified that they wanted to integrate spirituality into practice and found the concepts of Spiritually Competent Practice and Availability and Vulnerability useful. Spiritually Competent Practice enabled practitioners to be clearer about addressing spirituality in practice; embracing Availability and Vulnerability enabled truly holistic care to be offered. These concepts provided ways of understanding the conditions and personal qualities helpful in providing spiritual care to mental health service users. Implications for practice are that Spiritually Competent Practice and Availability and Vulnerability may be helpful concepts in integrating spirituality into practice in mental health care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for the Study of Spirituality
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jul 2020

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