Spiritual Well-being, Attitude, Involvement, Perceptions and Competencies

Measuring the Self-Perception of Nursing Students During 2018, 2019 and the First Wave of COVID-19 in 2020


  • Cornelia Brandstötter Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg
  • Firuzan Sari Kundt Paracelsus Medical University
  • Piret Paal Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg




spirituality, spiritual care, spiritual well-being, self-assessment, COVID-19, nursing, nursing education, Austria


Developing spirituality and spiritual care competencies in nursing students is an important task. In German-speaking countries, research investigating spiritual care in nursing teaching and nursing practice is limited. The aim of this study was to measure nursing students’ perceptions of their spiritual care competencies, care attitudes, involvement, perception and well-being. Three groups of second-year undergraduate nursing students in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 participated in a cross-sectional study using validated scales to measure students’ spiritual well-being (JAREL), spiritual care attitudes and involvement (SAIL), spirituality and spiritual care perceptions (SSCRS), and competencies (SCCS). Nursing students (N = 191) show a high level of spiritual attitude and involvement. The groups attained similar scores on the SSCRS, but the group of 2020 achieved the highest score, indicating a broader view of spirituality. This group also scored highest on the SCCS, which shows a higher self-perceived competence in delivering spiritual care. At the same time, the 2020 group reported significantly low spiritual well-being scores. Students rated their competencies in delivering spiritual care as high. This may be negatively affected if their spiritual well-being remains low. Further investigation is needed to clarify how to tackle this shortcoming in educational training.

Author Biographies

Cornelia Brandstötter, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg

Cornelia Brandstötter, MA, is a Research Associate at the Institute of Nursing Science and Practice, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.

Firuzan Sari Kundt, Paracelsus Medical University

Firuzan Sari Kundt, MPH, MA, is a Research Associate at the Institute of Nursing Science and Practice, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.

Piret Paal, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Piret Paal, PhD, MA, BA, is a Reader in Nursing Science (Palliative Care) at the Institute of Nursing Science and Practice, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.


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How to Cite

Brandstötter, C., Sari Kundt, F., & Paal, P. (2021). Spiritual Well-being, Attitude, Involvement, Perceptions and Competencies: Measuring the Self-Perception of Nursing Students During 2018, 2019 and the First Wave of COVID-19 in 2020. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 9(2), 175–190. https://doi.org/10.1558/HSCC.18468

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