Health-related religious rituals of the Greek Orthodox Church : their uptake and meanings

Fouka, Georgia, Plakas, Sotirios, Taket, Ann, Boudioni, Markella and Dandoulakis, Michael 2012, Health-related religious rituals of the Greek Orthodox Church : their uptake and meanings, Journal of nursing management, vol. 20, no. 8, Special Issue: Perspectives on spirituality - opportunities and challenges for nurse managers and leaders, pp. 1058-1068.

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Title Health-related religious rituals of the Greek Orthodox Church : their uptake and meanings
Author(s) Fouka, Georgia
Plakas, Sotirios
Taket, Ann
Boudioni, Markella
Dandoulakis, Michael
Journal name Journal of nursing management
Volume number 20
Issue number 8
Season Special Issue: Perspectives on spirituality - opportunities and challenges for nurse managers and leaders
Start page 1058
End page 1068
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of publication West Sussex, England
Publication date 2012-12
ISSN 0966-0429
1365-2834
Keyword(s) Greece
religious rituals
religion
relatives of patients
intensive care
Greek Orthodox Church
Summary Aim
To examine the uptake of religious rituals of the Greek Orthodox Church by relatives of patients in critical condition in Greece and to explore their symbolic representations and spiritual meanings.
Background
Patients and their relatives want to be treated with respect and be supported for their beliefs, practices, customs and rituals. However nurses may not be ready to meet the spiritual needs of relatives of patients, while the health-related religious beliefs, practices and rituals of the Greek Orthodox Christian denomination have not been explored.
Method
This study was part of a large study encompassing 19 interviews with 25 informants, relatives of patients in intensive care units of three large hospitals in Athens, Greece, between 2000 and 2005. In this paper data were derived from personal accounts of religious rituals given by six participants.
Results
Relatives used a series of religious rituals, namely blessed oil and holy water, use of relics of saints, holy icons, offering names for pleas and pilgrimage.
Conclusion
Through the rituals, relatives experience a sense of connectedness with the divine and use the sacred powers to promote healing of their patients.
Implications for nursing management
Nurse managers should recognize, respect and facilitate the expression of spirituality through the practice of religious rituals by patients and their relatives.
Language eng
Field of Research 110310 Intensive Care
Socio Economic Objective 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049506

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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