A pilot study to explore how the spiritual needs of dementia patients are addressed within care and treatment plans in 3 Health Boards in Wales

Anne Fothergill, Linda Ross

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In Wales the Mental Health Measure outlines the care that Mental Health Service Users (MHSU) are legally entitled to; Part 2 requires MHSU’s in secondary care to have a Care and Treatment Plan (CTP) (WG 2010). The CTP sets out 8 domains that the nurse/assessor should complete. Domain 7 refers to social/cultural/spiritual needs. A small local audit suggested that Domain 7 may not be regularly completed for dementia patients’ thus their spiritual needs may potentially go unmet. This is of concern given The Francis (2013) and Andrews (2014) reports’ findings that older people with dementia were not receiving respectful, compassionate and dignified care. These NHS values are closely aligned to the notion of spiritual care which is at the heart of healthcare guidance (e.g. DH 2009, WG 2015).

1. To analyse dementia patients’ CTPs, from community mental health teams (CMHT) and in-patient wards.
2. To compare Domain 7 with the other domains of the CTP.
3. To conduct focus groups with staff to explore their views on completing Domain 7; this will be compared with the written CTP.

Phase 1. Literature review of spiritual care in dementia.

Phase 2. Thematic analysis of Domain 7 of a purposive sample of 150 CTPs (with Domain 7 completed) collected from older persons CMHTs and wards in 3 Health Boards to identify how spiritual needs are addressed, how often CTPs are updated (if they are) and by whom. The content of Domain 7 will be compared with the other domains (for content, volume and frequency/method of evaluation).

Phase 3. Focus groups with health care professionals to explore emerging themes identified in Phase 2.

There is a dearth of healthcare literature on spiritual care in dementia. Data collection is currently in progress for Phase 2 and results will be available for the conference.

The study will provide evidence of how spiritual needs/preferences and wider holistic needs of people with dementia are being addressed. It will inform care planning and enable identification of gaps in practice to promote optimum wellbeing as part of the Government’s National Dementia Strategy (2012).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2016
Event22nd International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research (NPNR) Conference 2016: The long and winding road: mental health across the life course - Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Sept 201616 Sept 2016
Conference number: 22nd


Conference22nd International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research (NPNR) Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleNPNR2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Spirituality
  • dementia
  • Health boards
  • Wales


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