Communicating spirituality in health care


Communicating spirituality in health care


Editor and contributing author: Margaret Wills


Document Type



In addition to editing, Margaret Wills is a contributing author, "Introduction: Reclaiming the spiritual in health care."

Book description:

This edited volume—the first of its kind in the health communication field—presents a multifaceted analysis of the role of spiritual communication in health and healing. There are 14 chapters, including an introductory chapter that offers a new model of health inclusive of spirituality. Each chapter, addressing specific issues pertaining to religious and spiritual communication practices and the effects on individual health, is written by a contributing health communication scholar or health professional. Readers will find value in the variety of health communication contexts with analyses examining spiritual communication and its role in health behavior/outcomes in traditional contexts such as the church (pastor/health minister and parishioner) and the hospital (nurse/patient), and in alternative contexts such as holistic healing communities. As well, the scholars and health professionals contributing to this text investigate these issues using both qualitative and quantitative analyses, drawing from a variety of approaches including rhetorical criticism, behavioral analysis, ethnography, and cultural studies. More and more, the medical and scientific community recognizes the potential import of spirituality in health behavior and outcomes. An examination of spiritual communication and healing can ultimately assist health care practitioners in broadening their perspective on viable paths to wellness. It can assist individuals as well, informing and empowering them as they seek to recover, maintain, or enhance their overall health. Given the ongoing healthcare crisis and the ever-increasing diversity of our nation, broadening our conception of well being to include the spiritual component seems essential. As such, this book is an important addition to the literature devoted to health communication.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Wills, Margaret A. (Ed.) (2009). Communicating spirituality in health care. NJ: Hampton Press. and Wills, M. (2009). Introduction: Reclaiming the spiritual in health care. In M. Wills (Ed.), Communicating spirituality in health care. NJ: Hampton Press.


Copyright 2009 Hampton Press

Communicating spirituality in health care