157127 Culturally appropriate measures of spirituality

Monday, November 5, 2007: 12:50 PM

Lisa M. Lewis, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
A number of spirituality measures have been developed for investigating relationships between spirituality and health, and have been used to assess spirituality in African-American populations. However, the majority of these measures utilize researcher imposed definitions of spirituality. Findings documenting any relationships between spirituality and health in African-Americans are limited because spirituality measures may not be assessing cultural constructs of spirituality as defined by African-Americans themselves. However, no research has been done evaluating the cultural appropriateness of various spirituality measures for African-Americans.

The purpose of this systematic review and analysis of the extant literature on measures of spirituality is to evaluate the construct validity and reliability of instruments used to measure the construct of spirituality in the African-American population.

Findings indicate that spirituality measures used in research exploring health and illness are not culturally appropriate for measuring spirituality in African-Americans. Thirty-five studies and five measures of spirituality met the inclusion criteria. Most of the spirituality measures were developed in primarily Caucasian-American samples. African-Americans were represented in 71% of the studies (n=25) using spirituality measures in health research. Distinct cultural attributes of African-American spirituality were omitted in most of the spirituality measures.

Given the uniqueness of African-American spirituality, it is imperative that researchers who are interested in the study of spirituality and health and illness exercise care in the ways they measure the construct. Development of a culturally appropriate and sensitive measure of spirituality in African-Americans is suggested to strengthen the quality of research in this area.

Learning Objectives:
1. List key cultural dimensions of African-American spirituality. 2. Describe the devlopment of five spirituality measures. 3. Identify key components of five spirituality measures. 4. Assess the effectivenss of five spirituality measures to assess spirituality in the African-American community. 5. Identify components of a culturally appropriate measure of African-American spirituality.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.