Older adults' spiritual needs in health care settings: A qualitative meta-synthesis

David Hodge, Violet E. Horvath, Heather Larkin, Angela L. Curl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Scopus citations


    Recognizing that spiritual needs often emerge in health care settings, the Joint Commission requires spiritual assessments in numerous organizations frequented by older adults. Given that many gerontological practitioners have received little training in identifying spiritual needs, a qualitative meta-synthesis (N = 9 studies) was conducted to identify and describe older adults' perceptions of their spiritual needs in health care settings. Five interrelated categories emerged: (a) spiritual practices; (b) relationship with God; (c) hope, meaning, and purpose; (d) interpersonal connection; and (e) professional staff interactions. The implications of the findings are discussed as they inform the spiritual assessment process.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)131-155
    Number of pages25
    JournalResearch on Aging
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2012


    • Meta-synthesis
    • Older adults
    • Spiritual assessment
    • Spiritual needs
    • Spirituality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Health(social science)
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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