Integrating Spiritual Care into Palliative Consultation: A Case Study in Expanded Practice
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Recognizing and addressing spiritual needs has long been identified as a key component of palliative care (PC). More often than not, the provision of spiritual care involves referral to a hospital chaplain. In this study, we aim to describe the role of a PC chaplain embedded within the interdisciplinary PC team and demonstrate how this palliative chaplain role differs from that of a traditional hospital chaplain. We postulate that integrating spiritual care provision into a PC team may offer a broader spiritual care experience for patients receiving PC and begin to delineate expanded clinical roles for the palliative chaplain.
KeywordsPalliative care Chaplain Spiritual care Scope of practice Interdisciplinary
The authors would like to thank Dr. Sarah Parker for her helpful comments during an earlier draft of this manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Ms. Grace Kearney and Ms. Linda Fischer have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Dr. Hunter Groninger has served as a consultant for United Therapeutics.
Human and Animal Rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by our institutional review board as exempt from requiring patient consent since the study involved de-identified patient documentation analyzed retrospectively.
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