Original Research - Special Collection: Holiness

Children’s experience of holiness in health care. Are we rendering effective spiritual care?

Annemarie E. Oberholzer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3454 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3454 | © 2016 Annemarie E. Oberholzer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2016 | Published: 30 September 2016

About the author(s)

Annemarie E. Oberholzer, Department of Christian Spirituality, University of South Africa, South Africa


Children themselves place a high value on their own spiritual care when in hospital. However, the spiritual care of children in hospital is often overlooked. Hospitalisation and medical procedures can be traumatic and overwhelming for children, they often see hospitalisation as punishment for something they did wrong and they can even experience spiritual distress during illness and suffering. The spiritual care of hospitalised children should thus be a priority to help these children making sense of pain and suffering, and assisting them to connect with a loving and forgiving God. Spirituality namely influences a diverse range of human concerns such as beliefs about illness and health, fears, relationships with family and friends and the experience of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, children often harbour misconceptions precisely in these areas. This article will draw directly on the given that children are concrete thinkers, yet able to have an understanding of holiness and God as the Holy One, if they receive the right guidance. The study will explore children’s spirituality and the way in which they experience holiness in the healthcare environment from a nursing science perspective.


Holiness; Children; Spiritual care; Healthcare


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Crossref Citations

1. Editorial: children’s life, religiosity and spirituality matter: perspectives of special groups and their related adults
John Chi-Kin Lee
International Journal of Children's Spirituality  vol: 26  issue: 3  first page: 91  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1080/1364436X.2021.1949555