Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Weymiller, Audrey

Reader

Smith-Blair, Nan

Second Reader

Hale, Cathy

Abstract

Background.

Heart failure (HF) is a severe, progressive disease that afflicts large numbers of

individuals around the world. One significant factor affecting quality of life in persons

with HF is the extent to which spiritual needs are met. Developing an understanding of

spirituality in the HF patient is essential in order for the healthcare professional to

provide the highest quality care possible. This study focused on examining spirituality

in HF patients by means of conducting in-depth interviews with individuals diagnosed

with HF and completing a descriptive analysis of the responses. The goal of this study

was to gain insight into how spirituality affects the healthcare professional-patient

relationship in regards to HF.

Methods.

This project was a qualitative descriptive study in which six people with

established diagnoses of HF were interviewed in-depth utilizing a reliable spiritual

assessment tool, FICA (Faith, Importance, Community, Address in care), as a base

accompanied by follow up questions. The data were transcribed and critically analyzed.

Results.

Five of six participants in this study verified important spiritual beliefs and

described various ways these impact their day-to-day lives, relationships, and

healthcare practices. One participant denied spirituality or religion to be significant in

her life.

Conclusion.

The findings of this study support the premise that spirituality is unique to each

individual. By inquiring into a patient’s spiritual beliefs, one can access a wealth of

information regarding the individual’s background, personality, psychological state,

ideals, and more. The possible positive impact addressing spirituality could have for

both patients and providers will remain unknown until further research is conducted.

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