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Published online: 2024-01-18

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Spiritual care, compassion for others and light triad among clergy, social workers and hospice staff

Małgorzata Joanna Fopka-Kowalczyk12, Dariusz Krok3, Dagna Kocur23

Abstract

Background: The work involving helping people in difficult life situations requires specific competencies among those providing professional care. This study aims to determine the relationship of spiritual care with compassion for others and the Light Triad among clergy, social workers and hospice staff, and identify differences in the variables analysed.

Study subjects and methods: The study was conducted among 578 individuals who belong to three professional groups: clergy (n = 183), social workers (n = 199) and hospice staff (n = 195), aged between 18 and 89 years. The study used the Spiritual Supporter Scale (SpSup Scale), the Compassion for Others Scale and the Light Triad Scale.

Results: There were correlations for the vast majority of the variables studied. However, the correlations differed among the groups surveyed, especially in terms of the relationships of spiritual concern with indifference, faith in people, and humanism. Intergroup differences were observed. In terms of spiritual care, clergy had the highest scores while hospice staff had the lowest. In terms of compassion for others, clergy and social workers scored higher than hospice staff. In terms of the light triad, clergy had higher levels of faith in people than hospice staff, while social workers had higher levels of Kantianism compared to hospice staff.

Conclusions: There were mixed results in terms of competencies in compassion and spiritual care and there were lower competencies among hospice staff compared to the other groups surveyed. The data obtained could be used as a basis for the offer of training courses and workshops to enhance the competencies relevant to the profession.

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Palliative Medicine in Practice