Feasibility and acceptability of a telephone-based chaplaincy intervention in a large, outpatient oncology center.Support Care Cancer. 2020 Jul 04 [Online ahead of print]SC
Telechaplaincy (the use of telecommunications and virtual technology to deliver spiritual and religious care by healthcare chaplains or other religious/spiritual leaders) is a relatively novel intervention that has increasingly been used in recent years, and especially during COVID-19. Telephone-based chaplaincy is one mode of telechaplaincy. The purpose of this study was to (1) describe telephone-based chaplaincy interventions delivered as the first point of contact to patients who screen positive for religious/spiritual concern(s) using an electronic data system, and (2) assess the feasibility and acceptability of delivering interventions in an outpatient cancer institute using this methodology.
Patients were screened for religious and spiritual (R/S) concern(s) using an electronic data system. Patients indicating R/S concern(s) were offered a telephone-based chaplaincy intervention and asked to complete a survey assessing acceptability of the intervention. Feasibility and acceptability data were collected.
Thirty percent of screened patients indicated R/S concern(s). Telephone-based chaplaincy interventions were offered to 100% of eligible patients, establishing contact with 61% of eligible patients, and offering chaplaincy interventions to 48% of those patients. Survey participants report high acceptability of the offered intervention.
This is the first study examining feasibility and acceptability of telephone-based chaplaincy with oncology patients. Telephone-based chaplaincy is feasible and acceptable within an outpatient oncology setting, supporting the promise of this interventional strategy. Further research is needed to refine practices.