Disease challenges us humans, not just physically, but also existentially and spiritually. For centuries this has been the focus of spiritual care. The nursing profession originates directly in spiritual care. However, research suggests that there is as much need for spiritual care today in a high-tech time when efficiency is paramount, and where internal human values are often pushed back by efficiency.

All this is the main focus of the emerging research in spiritual care, the key findings of which are presented in this article. First, we present the historical background for spiritual care in relation to the nursing profession; then an overview is provided of the international and now Danish research in the relationship between faith and health and spiritual care. Finally, the main questions about implications are examined, including why, what, how and by whom when spiritual care is at stake.

Keywords: spiritual care, spirituality and health, person-centred medicine, human health