Spirituality of Chinese Older Adults : Conceptualization, Assessment, and Intervention

Under a passion of recognizing cultural specific ways of constructing meaning of life among Chinese older adults in the particular socio-cultural context, Dr. Vivian W. Q. Lou from Department of Social Work & Social Administration and Sau Po Centre on Ageing, and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) collaborated to conduct a series of studies on spirituality since 2009. These studies aimed to examine the underlying conceptual structure of spirituality among older adults and identify effective intervention strategies to enhance spirituality among Chinese older adults, which is pioneer in spiritual care in a non-religious context.

Inspired by curiosity and passion for enhancing the quality of older adults’ lives, we experienced a rich and substantial journey, together with older adults, their family members, and healthcare professionals and workers, searching for and discovering the meaning of spirituality among Chinese older adults. Through thorough literature review, in-depth interview, and focus groups, we identified two key cultural factors that affect the perception and practice of spirituality, which referred to the collective tradition that emphasizes relational and/or social life and the meanings and purposes of life in the form of harmonious relationships with surroundings. A model of Chinese spirituality has then been formulated, which conceptualizes spirituality as a dynamic for harmonious relationships between the person and his/her environment including nature, people around and him/herself. Then the research team developed and validated a 44-item Spirituality Scale for Chinese Elders (SSCE) in mid-2011.

The conceptualization and assessment tool paved the way for examining evidence-based practice in spiritual support and enhancement to Chinese older adults in daily practice. Up to recent, Fu Le Man Xin (full of blessing and happiness) self-help manual and a professional intervention manual on Spiritual Enhancement Groups for Chinese Elders were successfully developed. The self-help manual were disseminated to all community elderly services centres and also several elderly service centres in the Mainland China. Training were delivered to more than two hundred professional workers from Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and other non-government organizations and churches in Hong Kong. The professional manual is targeted to enhance competence of professional workers to provide intervention for the betterment of spiritual well-being for Chinese older adults.

 

Project list:

Time Frame

Project Title

2014-date

Evaluation on the Effectiveness of the Intervention under Self-help Approach on Enhancing Spirituality of Elders Living in Hong Kong

2012-2012

Spirituality enhancement intervention of TWGHs – Consolidation of experience and development of self-help approach

2009-2011

A study on assessing and enhancing spirituality among elders
living in residential homes in Hong Kong and Shanghai

 

Publication list:

Chan, L. W., Lou , W. Q., Fok, S. Y., & Tsui, K. M. (2010a). Spirituality in Chinese context: A perspective from elders and their relatives in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the The Gerontological Society of America 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Chan, L. Y., Fok, S. Y., Lou , W. Q., & Tsui, K. M. (2010b). Spirituality: Conceptualization and its implication in social work practice in the Chinese context. Paper presented at the 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work & Social Development: The Agenda, June 10-14, Hong Kong.

Lou , W. Q., Chan, L. Y., Fok, S. Y., & Tsui, K. M. (2010). Conceptualizing the spirituality of Chinese older adults: A Delphi study. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Associaiton of Gerontology 18th Annual Congress of Gerontology, Hong Kong.

Lou, W. Q., Chan, L. Y., Fok, S. Y., Tsui, K. M.. & Dai, A. N. (2013). Enhancing spiritual well-being among Chinese older adults: A self-help empowering approach. Paper presented at 10th Word Congress on Long Term Care in Chinese Communities. Macau.

Lou, W. Q., Chan, L. Y., Fok, S. Y., Tsui, K. M., Dai, A. N. & Leung, Y. P. (2012). The effectiveness of the Spiritual Enhancement Group for Chinese Elders: Evidence from a quasi-experiment. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology 19th Annual Congress of Gerontology, Promoting Choices and Frontiers in Elderly Care. Hong Kong.

Lou W. Q, Chan, L. Y., Leung, Y. P., Fok, S.Y. & Tsui, K. M. (2011), Measuring transcendence among Chinese older adults - A spiritual approach. Paper presented at the GSA's 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, Boston, MA.

Lou , W. Q., Chan, L. Y., Leung, Y. P., Fok, S. Y., Tsui, K. M., & Gui, S. X. (2011). Development and validation of a spirituality scale for Chinese elders: A mixed approach. Paper presented at the 8th World Congress on Long Term Care in Chinese Communities and Asian Ageing Development Conference.

Lou , W. Q., Chan, L. Y., Leung, Y. P., Fok, S. Y., Tsui, K. M., Gui, S. X., & Shek, T. L. (2012). Conceptualizing and assessing spirituality among Chinese elders: towards evidence-based practice. Generation Review, 22(1), 15-16.

Lou , W. Q. & Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. (2014). Sprituality vitalizaer: Intervention Manual for Profressionals. Hong Kong: Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

Lou , W. Q. & Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. (2011). A study on assessing and enhancing spirituality among elders in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Hong Kong: Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

Lou , W. Q. & Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. (2013). 福樂滿心靈性提升八「鍛」錦自助手冊. Hong Kong: Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

 

Website of TWGHs on this project