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End-of-life spiritual care at a VA medical center: chaplains' perspectives.
Palliat Support Care 2012; 10(4):273-8PS

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Spiritual care is an essential component of quality palliative care. Recognizing the importance, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mandates the inclusion of chaplains in a palliative care consult team (PCCT). The purpose of this study is to explain the process and content of spiritual care provided in a VA Medical Center from chaplains' perspectives.

METHOD

Five Christian chaplains who provide care to patients at end of life were interviewed. Each interview was recorded and transcribed. Analysis based on the grounded theory was used to identify themes from each interview question.

RESULTS

The PCCT in this study appeared to have a strong referral and communication system in which every palliative care patient was seen by a chaplain and the care plan was discussed with an interdisciplinary team. Chaplains reported providing a range of services, which addressed religious, spiritual, emotional, family, and illness concerns. Chaplains were aware of the unique spiritual needs of veterans, including working through guilt for killing in war and requiring forgiveness. Chaplains' ideas for improvement of spiritual care services included increasing time to provide care, providing bereavement care and support to families, and adding chaplains with different religious backgrounds. Chaplains reported how their own spirituality influenced the care they provided.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS

Spiritual care in the VA can include a range of services and should consider the unique needs of the veteran population. Future studies can build upon our findings from chaplains to learn about the perspectives of patients, family, and other healthcare providers of spiritual care. This information would allow identification of strengths of current spiritual care practices and areas for care improvement, and ultimately could improve the well-being of patients at the end of life.

Authors+Show Affiliations

VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22612863

Citation

Chang, Bei-Hung, et al. "End-of-life Spiritual Care at a VA Medical Center: Chaplains' Perspectives." Palliative & Supportive Care, vol. 10, no. 4, 2012, pp. 273-8.
Chang BH, Stein NR, Trevino K, et al. End-of-life spiritual care at a VA medical center: chaplains' perspectives. Palliat Support Care. 2012;10(4):273-8.
Chang, B. H., Stein, N. R., Trevino, K., Stewart, M., Hendricks, A., & Skarf, L. M. (2012). End-of-life spiritual care at a VA medical center: chaplains' perspectives. Palliative & Supportive Care, 10(4), pp. 273-8. doi:10.1017/S1478951511001003.
Chang BH, et al. End-of-life Spiritual Care at a VA Medical Center: Chaplains' Perspectives. Palliat Support Care. 2012;10(4):273-8. PubMed PMID: 22612863.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - End-of-life spiritual care at a VA medical center: chaplains' perspectives. AU - Chang,Bei-Hung, AU - Stein,Nathan R, AU - Trevino,Kelly, AU - Stewart,Max, AU - Hendricks,Ann, AU - Skarf,Lara M, Y1 - 2012/05/22/ PY - 2012/5/23/entrez PY - 2012/5/23/pubmed PY - 2014/12/15/medline SP - 273 EP - 8 JF - Palliative & supportive care JO - Palliat Support Care VL - 10 IS - 4 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Spiritual care is an essential component of quality palliative care. Recognizing the importance, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mandates the inclusion of chaplains in a palliative care consult team (PCCT). The purpose of this study is to explain the process and content of spiritual care provided in a VA Medical Center from chaplains' perspectives. METHOD: Five Christian chaplains who provide care to patients at end of life were interviewed. Each interview was recorded and transcribed. Analysis based on the grounded theory was used to identify themes from each interview question. RESULTS: The PCCT in this study appeared to have a strong referral and communication system in which every palliative care patient was seen by a chaplain and the care plan was discussed with an interdisciplinary team. Chaplains reported providing a range of services, which addressed religious, spiritual, emotional, family, and illness concerns. Chaplains were aware of the unique spiritual needs of veterans, including working through guilt for killing in war and requiring forgiveness. Chaplains' ideas for improvement of spiritual care services included increasing time to provide care, providing bereavement care and support to families, and adding chaplains with different religious backgrounds. Chaplains reported how their own spirituality influenced the care they provided. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Spiritual care in the VA can include a range of services and should consider the unique needs of the veteran population. Future studies can build upon our findings from chaplains to learn about the perspectives of patients, family, and other healthcare providers of spiritual care. This information would allow identification of strengths of current spiritual care practices and areas for care improvement, and ultimately could improve the well-being of patients at the end of life. SN - 1478-9523 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22612863/End_of_life_spiritual_care_at_a_VA_medical_center:_chaplains'_perspectives_ L2 - https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S1478951511001003/type/journal_article DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -