A Systematic Review of Spirituality Definitions in the Healthcare Field


Spirituality means rising above the ego, awakening to a greater consciousness. It’s the process of going beyond fears, worries, and nonstop thinking to experience inner peace and bliss in everyday life. It also means opening the mind to the Universe and experiencing a deeper connection with the world.

Spirituality is a dimension that strives for inspiration, reverence, awe and meaning, even among those who do not believe in God or the supernatural. This dimension often comes into focus during emotional stress, physical (and mental) illness, loss and death.

It may involve religious traditions that center on belief in a higher power or it may be more holistic and include a sense of being connected to all people, nature, and the Universe. It can be influenced by a variety of factors, including cultural influences, family and educational background. It is not a fixed state of being, but it’s something that can be nurtured in all individuals.

The objective of this systematic review was to investigate the definitions used in the healthcare field to understand how spirituality is understood and to identify its main dimensions. To conduct this study, a literature search was conducted using the PRISMA guidelines and articles that defined spirituality were reviewed in full. Articles that only cited pre-existing definitions were excluded, and those that presented a new operational definition of spirituality were included in the study. The results were analyzed and used to construct an operational framework of spirituality.