Publication Date

Spring 4-21-2020


School of Health Sciences


Interdisciplinary Studies


well-being, spiritual history, spiritual, health, interventions, terminal, religious, cancer


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Medical Education | Pain Management | Religion


This systematic review is an update and expansion to the population and methods of a previous systematic review concerning spiritual and religious interventions for the well-being of terminally ill adults. After expanding the criteria to incorporate a more diverse population and including non-randomized experimental studies that contained relatively few concerns of bias, the results of the review are inconclusive due to insufficient data. The lack of usable data in the field highlights the ethical and theoretical issues with the use of experimental trials in analyzing the efficacy of spiritual and religious interventions. The development of spirituality in healthcare will remain stagnant until large volumes of high-fidelity data can be generated. The implementation of a spiritual history in a patient history will aid in achieving this goal by making retrospective cohort studies feasible. Spiritual histories not only enable further research endeavors but streamline comprehensive holistic care. Initiatives by healthcare administrators should implement spiritual histories for the benefits of both research and patient care.