A concept analysis of spirituality in Occupational Therapy Practice

Janice Jones*, Anne Topping, John Wattis, Joanna Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Health policy and high profile investigations about poor care delivery in England emphasise the need for health professionals to ensure care is patient-centred, addressing each individual's physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. Person-centred practice, valuing the uniqueness of the individual, is central to the philosophy of occupational therapy. Spirituality is a key dimension of person-centredness but how to address it in everyday practice remains a challenge. This article reports on a concept analysis which was undertaken to explore the empirical referents of addressing the spiritual as a means of guiding practice, and the antecedents and attributes underpinning spirituality as a dimension of occupational therapy practice. A range of health-related databases were searched from 2000 to 2013. Eight studies that focused on spirituality and occupational therapy practice were included in the concept analysis. Spirituality in occupational therapy practice was found to be associated with a holistic, person-centred approach to care. It aimed to restore a sense of wellbeing and to recognise individual coping strategies. A framework was developed to operationalise spiritually competent care for occupational therapy practice. The study concluded that occupational therapists respond to a disruption in wellbeing and quality of life by mobilising patients’ spiritual coping strategies in order to support and restore the patient's sense of meaning and purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-57
Number of pages20
JournalJournal for the Study of Spirituality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2016


  • spirituality
  • concept analysis
  • occupational therapy
  • occupation
  • person-centred
  • holistic practice


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