Background: In spite of the necessity of implementing spiritual care practices for cancer patients, there is no clear process in this regard in palliative care programs of the health system of countries. The present study was designed with the aim of developing a clinical practice guideline of spiritual care in cancer patients for oncology nurses in the current context.
Methods: This is a multi-method study which was conducted in five stages within the framework of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline. A research committee consisting of four focal and 16 secondary members was formed. The stages included determining the scope of the study, developing guideline (a qualitative study and a systematic review, triangulation of the data, and producing a preliminary draft), consultation stage (validation of the guideline in three rounds of the Delphi study), as well as revision and publication stages.
Results: The clinical guideline of spiritual care with 84 evidence-based recommendations was developed in three main areas, including the human resources, care settings, and the process of spiritual care.
Conclusions: We are hoping by applying this clinical guideline in oncology settings to move towards an integrated spiritual care plan for cancer patients in the context of our health system. Healthcare organizations should support to form spiritual care teams under supervision of the oncology nurses with qualified healthcare providers and a trained clergy. Through holistic care, they can constantly examine the spiritual needs of cancer patients alongside their other needs by focusing on the phases of the nursing process.