Client spirituality has been recognized as a central component of Canadian occupational therapy, but little research has been conducted in this area.
This exploratory study attempted to gain insight into the relevant elements of spirituality and its importance to inpatient adolescent mental health clients.
An adolescent spirituality questionnaire was developed from definitions of spirituality in the literature, modified by a focus group consisting of members of the target population, and administered to 11 respondents.
Elements related to the individual and lifelong pursuits of the individual were most closely associated with spirituality while those items traditionally connected with spirituality and with external pursuits, activities, and relationships are considered less relevant by this population. Results suggest that spirituality is important to a majority of inpatient adolescent mental health clients.
It is suggested that more studies drawing information on spirituality directly from specific client populations are essential for the occupational therapy community to improve its comprehension of, and to better its ability to address in practice, the critical area of client spirituality.