June 14, 2024

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Spirituality and religiosity were associated with positive post-traumatic growth in nurses

1. The strength of religious beliefs was positively correlated with post-traumatic growth.

2. Specifically, transcendent experiences, meaningfulness, and trust were spiritual dimensions that positively correlated with post-traumatic growth while spiritual activities and acceptance were negatively correlated with PTG.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic posed difficult physical and psychosocial challenges for healthcare workers, especially those working in the intensive care units (ICUs). After extremely stressful situations, some theorize that there can be positive psychological growth, which is termed post-traumatic growth (PTG). However, what constitutes as protective and risk factors for PTG in healthcare workers is unclear. This study examined the relationship between PTG and religiosity/spirituality (R/S) among ICU nurses caring for COVID-19 patients.

This was a cross-sectional study that included 120 ICU nurses working across nine different hospitals in Poland. Nurses who were not employed during the COVID-19 pandemic or lacked informed consent were excluded. The primary outcome measured was PTG, as measured using the standardized Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory questionnaire. Exposures were religiosity and spirituality, measured using two standardized questionnaires: the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire, and the Spiritual Attitude and Involvement List.

The results demonstrated that the strength of religious beliefs had a positive correlation with post-traumatic growth. Specifically, transcendent experiences, meaningfulness, and trust were spiritual dimensions that were positively correlated with PTG while spiritual activities and acceptance were negatively correlated with PTG. This study was limited by its small size and the cross-sectional nature, which precluded causal inference. However, these results suggest possible benefits of spirituality/religiosity in PTG among healthcare workers and should be considered as possible areas of support professional organizations could make accessible to healthcare workers.

Click to read this study in Frontiers In Psychiatry

Image: PD

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