This study provides insight into understanding and addressing issues related to spiritual care from the viewpoints of healthcare providers working at neonatal intensive care units. The findings of the study of Chism & Magnan in 2009 showed that spiritual care depends on the views of nurses about spiritual care (14), also Dhamani et al in 2011 reported that nurses need to have knowledge and readiness to provide spiritual care and support clients in need (15).
Dunn et al. contend that there ought to be expanded accentuation on training that advances the nurses’ spirituality, both in pre-enrollment and proceeding with instruction programs (16).
Other studies have shown how instructive sessions may help pediatric nurses give spiritual care (17). A systematic review to set up parents’ needs in neonatal intensive care unit has demonstrated that they need helpful information, assuring them that their newborn is being cared, and get in touch with their newborn, to be accepted by the nurses and to have a healing rapport with them, and unique care (18). Also, enthusiastic support, and inviting situation, parent strengthening, and instruction, and shared care were useful. Research shows that when the mothers were included in care, they became active. Also, when parents integrate into the unit, they feel more secure, have control over the circumstances, were included in creating relationships, were more convinced, and felt more associated with their newborn. The mothers explained the need to have closeness and proximity and belonging to their infant. When these needs were met, the mothers became more responsible, confident, and familiar with their fragile infant (19).
Healthcare providers have identified the importance of spirituality, but it was not true about the components of comprehensive care. Our results reverberate and add clinical stories to Heyland et al multicenter quantitative investigations of palliative care patients and their family which distinguished that spiritual is an immense and neglected need in palliative care patients and their families (20).
This study recognized various difficulties linked to spiritual issues in a neonatal intensive care unit. While the health care team perceived that spiritual issues are inside the scope of practice of interdisciplinary team members, they recognized healthcare providers themselves as an inhibitor. As has been stated in various studies (21), Health care providers identified that still there is a profound theory-practice gap, because translating these capabilities into clinical practice in a delicate way is a considerable obstacle. Educational and training inadequacy is cited as a reason in most of the studies on this gap (22, 23), and suggest that healthcare faculties and continuing education programs should include training on effective spiritual care into their curriculum. Caldeira and Hall stated that Parents ask for prayer and request that religious sacrament or put some symbolic religious objects in the incubator, so meeting religious needs is a dimension of spiritual care (24).
Another study found that 60% to 80% of parents likewise felt frightful or anxious, had challenges in coping with their child’s pain or symptoms, looked for medical information about their child’s illness, addressed why they and their kid were experiencing this situation, asked about the meaning behind suffering, and felt guilty. Also, it claimed that empathetic listening, praying with children and families, touch or other forms of silent communication, and performing religious customs or ceremonies are very effective methods of giving spiritual care (25).
Regarding the change of structural conditions participants, declared the highly technical environment of the NICUs is very frustrating and a private place is crucial for mothers to be calm. Heermann et.al and Jackson et.al stated mothers require a private and individual place and in ICU, moments of family members come together in a private place with no interruption (26, 27). Hall’s study (2009) showed that not being in a private place with the newborn led to mothers felt that the infant is belonging to the hospital (28).
This study has several limitations, including a small sample size that limits the generalizability of findings. So, future research with a larger sample is recommended to confirm our findings.
Second, a potential sample bias may have been introduced, because a disproportionate number of a spiritually-minded and motivated participant may be volunteered for the interviews that are not the presenter of the general healthcare team members.