Resident Perspectives of Religious and Spiritual Care Preferences in Nursing Homes: A Mixed Methods Approach

Open Access
Ashton, Nathaniel Paul
Area of Honors:
Health Policy and Administration
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kimberly Van Haitsma, Thesis Supervisor
  • Rhonda BeLue, Honors Advisor
  • person-centered care
  • religion
  • spirituality
  • nursing homes
  • preferences
  • residents
This thesis study uses a mixed-methods approach to seek a deeper understanding of the religious and spiritual care preferences of nursing home residents. The study uses a religious preference stem (how important is it to you to participate in religious services or practices) and a spiritual preference stem (how important is it to you to talk about spiritual matters). A quantitative Phase 1 analyzed a sample of 255 residents from 35 nursing homes. The religious stem was important to 77.56 percent of residents and was significantly related to gender (p = .0057) and religious affiliation (p = .0001). A qualitative Phase 2 examined cognitive interviews of 39 residents from 7 nursing homes. The religious and the spiritual preference stems were both evaluated. 8 topical categories emerged, including language confusion and definitional wordage differences. Both phases assured that clinical and research arenas need terminology clarity to eliminate these disparities. This study recommends more, diverse religious and spiritual preference stems to ensure clear, accurate, and actionable assessments.