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Christian Beliefs Surrounding End of Life Care

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Spirituality is of paramount importance in end of life care yet this aspect of care is frequently unrecognized. Spiritual and religious needs are often not accurately assessed or understood. This

Spirituality is of paramount importance in end of life care yet this aspect of care is frequently unrecognized. Spiritual and religious needs are often not accurately assessed or understood. This study sought to investigate Christian end of life beliefs and needs. A qualitative study design was used to explore end of life beliefs and needs of members from a non-denominational Christian church who self-declared their Christianity. A 10-item Assessment Tool on end of life needs and beliefs was created by this investigator and used in the study (Appendix 1). A total of 14 participants were interviewed. Notes and audio recordings were taken and later transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis including an open analysis and an axial analysis of the data. The open analysis identified trends and common concepts which were then categorized into broader themes during the axial analysis. Findings included several major themes that described the Christian population's end of life needs and beliefs. The major themes identified included: trust in God, beliefs about necessity of religious practices, lack of fear of death, similarities in religious rituals and practices, and a desire for quality of life. During a statistical analysis, findings revealed that 86% believed that pain and suffering should be treated and prevented. One hundred percent (100%) of the participants reported that their faith helped with their acceptance of death. An additional 64% stated that they did not fear death. The findings in this study can improve religious and cultural awareness for nurses and others in the healthcare field.

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  • 2017-05