Spiritual care by nurses in curative cancer care: Protocol for a national, multicentre, mixed method study

Marieke Groot, Anne F. Ebenau, Helen Koning, Anja Visser, Carlo Leget, Hanneke W.M. van Laarhoven, René van Leeuwen, Riet Ruben, Marijke Wulp, Bert Garssen

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Aim: To gain insight into the quantity and quality of spiritual care provided by nurses in curative cancer care, from the perspectives of both patients and nurses. Background: Cancer causes patients to suffer from diverse symptoms related to their illness. Nurses play an important role in the care for people with cancer. Next to paying attention to physical and psychosocial needs, caring for spiritual needs of patients also belongs to good nursing. Most of the research concerning spirituality and spiritual care in relation to cancer has focused on palliative care. Design: A mixed methods design will be used in two sub-phases. First, we will conduct semi-structured interviews with 72–90 patients coming from nine hospitals. Subsequently, approximately the same number of nurses working on oncology wards of these hospitals will be interviewed. Methods: We meticulously composed both interview guides so that only near the end of the interview explicit terms like spirituality and spiritual care are explicitly mentioned. Until that point, we will use other words to define the concepts. Next to the interviews, demographics, answers to some statements and several questionnaires will be gathered. Content analysis supported by DEDOOSE will be used to answer the research questions. Discussion: The insight we will gain in this study enables us to compare experiences from the perspective of both patients and nurses. This can also provide us with suggestions for the improvement of nursing care for people with cancer who are treated with curative intent, a topic until now hardly addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2201-2207
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of advanced nursing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • cancer
  • mixed method
  • nurses’ experiences
  • nursing
  • patient experiences
  • spiritual care

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