Understanding Spiritual Intelligence in Healthcare – Raising Awareness Among Practitioners

Hayward, Richard (2020) Understanding Spiritual Intelligence in Healthcare – Raising Awareness Among Practitioners. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) is important in contributing to high quality, holistic care. It promotes communication between staff, and between staff and patients. While emotional (EQ) and cognitive intelligence (IQ) currently informs staff interactions, there is an increased interest in the role of spiritual intelligence in mediating intra-staff communication. This study will develop a framework to support the discussion of spirituality among healthcare practitioners using spiritual intelligence as a framework. The proposed framework highlights three elements of spiritual intelligence, which are meaningfulness, the differences between religion and spirituality and the importance of value systems, all of which have practical application for better practice. The study used a mixed method exploratory sequential methodology, with a convenience sample of 31 healthcare leaders. Phase One involved the completion of Wigglesworth’s SQ 21 assessment tool. Nine of those that completed the SQ21 were interviewed for Phase Two. Data were analysed using mean rankings and a modified thematic analysis, using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Phase One findings found that increased SQ facilitated making a difference at work and helped identify elements that made work meaningful. The second finding was that SQ provided an additional perspective that added to the EQ and IQ viewpoints. The third finding was that articulating the difference between religion and spirituality in a formal structure provided security for staff to discuss issues with confidence. Emergent themes from the semi-structured interviews highlighted the difference between spirituality and religion, the importance of values and the need for a clearly articulated value system, the role and characteristics of spiritual leaders that influenced healthcare delivery and meaningfulness. There were barriers identified to discussing spirituality which included difficulties in communication, environment, fear, lack of knowledge and false assumptions. Elements informing the understanding and application of spirituality and spiritual intelligence have been identified, and a framework to raise awareness among all levels of staff has been developed. Further research with the use of this framework with different staff groups providing feedback for its efficacy and usefulness is suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: Spirituality, Spiritual Intelligence, Meaningfulness, Values, Mixed Methods
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 10:37
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:53
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705879

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