Spiritual care for people with intellectual and developmental disability: an exploratory study

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Background: A faith-based (pseudonym, Adam?s House-AH) and a non-faith based care service (pseudonym, Greenleaves-GL) were explored to find out if and how spiritual support was provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Method: Six months were spent volunteering within each service and a mixed-methods approach was utilised including applied and ethnographic methods to explore and describe if and how spirituality was embedded within the two services. Results: Themes found included community of value; homely functional care; and barriers to spiritual care. GL staff tended to provide what we termed ?religious spiritual care? whilst AH staff administered both ?religious? and ?non-religious spiritual? based support. This difference may be related to the type of training found only at AH which included spiritual dimensions. Conclusion: Services could benefit from acknowledging the importance and significance of spiritual care training and education for effective and varied spiritual care for people with IDD who desire such support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number2
Early online date27 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017


  • Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Spirituality, Spiritual care, Health care professionals, Faith and non-faith based care services.


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