Spiritual care has a number of benefits. It can enhance the nurse-patient relationship and help in the building of trust and reliability between the two. It can act as a therapeutic relationship as it will improve the functioning of patients; increase their healing process by care and empathy; build up their hopes and help them deal with the fear of illness and death. Patients also feel less pain when they are involved in spiritual acts. In a study by Vance, it was found that the biopsychosocial functioning of more than a million adults with HIV improved with spiritual care even when their disease became chronic and was associated with other illnesses (Vance, 2008).
There are many ways of assessing and meeting the spiritual needs of HIV patients. Nurses should have a good experience of taking a spiritual history. They should inquire about the patients’ strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, ways of expressing feelings and overcoming stress, faith in God, religiosity, involvement in religious communities, etc.
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