Rogers, Melanie (2016) Spiritual Dimensions of Advanced Nurse Practitioner Consultations in Primary Care through the Lens of Availability and Vulnerability. A Hermeneutic Enquiry. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

There is a scarcity of research examining spirituality and spiritual dimensions of Advanced Nurse Practitioner practice. This thesis explores the findings of a hermeneutic enquiry into the spiritual dimensions of Advanced Nurse Practitioner consultations in Primary Care through the lens of Availability and Vulnerability. The findings include Advanced Nurse Practitioners’ understandings and conceptualisation of spirituality, the place of spirituality in practice and some of the concerns related to integration in practice. The participants’ interviews explored their own personal and professional experiences which added to their conceptualisation of spirituality. The lens of Availability and Vulnerability (A&V) was used intentionally and openly to explore, in depth, spiritual dimension of practice with the participants. The utility and effectiveness of the concepts of A&V in this context was explored.
A hermeneutic phenomenological enquiry was chosen to explore spirituality through the lived experiences of the Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs).
Eight participants were interviewed face to face during 2 in-depth interviews spaced 18 months apart. The concepts of A&V were introduced to the participants before the second interviews. The lens of A&V was utilised within these interviews to discover whether or not these concepts were helpful for operationalising spirituality in practice. The prolonged engagement allowed dialogue to occur between the researcher and participants allowing data to be captured which provided a thick description of the phenomenon of spirituality. A thematic analysis was chosen to interpret the data in order to enable a deeper understanding of the spiritual dimensions of ANP consultations to be gained.
The participants recognised that spirituality can be difficult to conceptualise and operationalise in practice. However, many of the participants were able to articulate the meaning of spirituality for themselves and gave examples of when they had witnessed a spiritual dimension occurring in practice. Particular themes were expressed in the interviews in relationship to spirituality. These included the context for spirituality to be integrated into care, the emotional engagement needed and the emotional impact on the ANP and the patient. Having introduced the concepts of A&V to the participants, after deep exploration, they recognised and identified that A&V were concepts which could be a useful lens for understanding spirituality in ANP consultations.
This study has uncovered new knowledge and understanding in the realm of spirituality in ANP consultations in Primary Care. The conceptual understanding of spirituality and the framework of Availability and Vulnerability provides a new approach to spirituality within ANP consultations in Primary Care.

FinalThesisMelanieRogersMay2016.pdf - Accepted Version
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