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  • 日本と英語圏諸国の比較検討
  • Definitions of Spirituality in Nursing Literature from Japan and English-speaking Countries:
  • A Comparative Review Study

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This paper aims to provide a comparative overview of definitions of spirituality in the nursing literature from Japan and three English-speaking countries (the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada). Much of the nursing literature selected in this paper includes research on definitions of spirituality suggested by individual researchers, review studies on definitions mentioned by previous researchers and researchers' opinions of spirituality. As indicated by one research paper, from the 1950s to the 1970s, spirituality in the target countries was regarded as the same as religion under the influence of pastoral care offered by priests in medical settings. From the 1980s to the 1990s, the paradigm in the nursing field shifted from the religious dimension to the holistic dimension of human beings. The concept of spirituality was introduced in Japan between the late 1990s and the early 2000s. The findings of our research indicate difficulties in conceptualizing spirituality in the nursing field because of its ambiguity and conceptual confusion. Despite the increased interest in spirituality, there has been little agreement over its definition. However, the traits common in definitions of spirituality as suggested by many researchers are as follows: 1) the innate power all individuals possess; 2) an essential, integrative energy which could drive us to search for the meaning or purpose of life in relationships with ‘self,'‘others,' and ‘transcendence;' 3) the potential power we find when people are faced with difficulties or crises; and 4) spirituality has been associated with religion but is not the same as religion. Many nursing researchers have stated it is necessary to define spirituality for better practice in the nursing field while others find it unnecessary to define spirituality due to its uniqueness to individuals.




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