Insights on spirituality and bereavement: systematic review of qualitative studies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aim: To describe a synthesis of the experience related to the spirituality of those living a bereavement journey in primary qualitative studies. Design: A systematic review of qualitative studies. Data Source: A systematic review was carried out in March 2019 and was updated in January 2023. Searching was accomplished by an online database, such as CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, MedicLatina, LILACS, SciELO and Academic Search Complete. The search strategy did not consider a timeline as an eligibility criterion. The quality of the studies was assessed, and a thematic synthesis was performed in this review. Methods: A systematic review of qualitative studies was conducted according to Saini and Shlonsky's methodology. Reporting Method: PRISMA checklist. Results: The review included 33 articles. Most of the studies were phenomenological and focused on parents' and family experiences of bereavement. Seven significant categories emerged, which match unmet spiritual needs during the grieving process. Two major categories were identified regarding the role of spirituality in bereavement: Spirituality as a process and spirituality as an outcome. Conclusion: In clinical practice, attention to spirituality and providing spiritual care is critical to guarantee a holistic approach for those experiencing bereavement. Implications: The findings of our study could foster awareness that healthcare professionals should include the spiritual dimension in their clinical practice to provide holistic care to individuals, enhancing the healing process in bereavement. No Patient or Public Contribution: This is a systematic review.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Bereavement
  • Grief
  • Loss
  • Spirituality
  • Systematic review


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