Practice guidance

The Scottish Inter Faith Council and the Scottish Government have produced Religion and Belief Matter: An Information Resource for Healthcare Staff (2007), which demonstrates not only what faith groups themselves see as important but also why staff should try to meet and support their needs. It highlights areas of good practice and includes suggestions from Healthcare Chaplains and Equality/Diversity Officers for further consideration.

NHS Education for Scotland has produced Spiritual care matters: an introductory resource for all NHS Scotland staff (2009). This resource is intended for both those who want to find out a bit more about spiritual care in the NHS and for those with a commitment to teach and explain its nature.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has produced a manual which gives a brief description of the main faith communities within Scotland and provides information about such key matters as religious practices, birth customs, family planning, diet, washing and toilet, modesty and dress, organ transplants and donation, and customs surrounding death.

A 2005 Cochrane review, ‘Does religious activity improve health outcomes?’ aimed to evaluate the effects of religious activity on health outcomes. It concludes that, for those who practice their religious beliefs, religious activity may improve health outcomes.

A study on the ‘Outcomes of religious and spiritual adaptations to psychotherapy’ indicates that overall spiritual or religious adaptation to psychotherapy showed significant benefit for participants. The results provided some evidence that spiritually oriented psychotherapy interventions may be beneficial to individuals with certain psychological problems. Interventions that helped participants’ understanding and application of religious spiritual teachings appeared to be more effective than other types of interventions, although further research was needed.

Updated May 2015 

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