State of the Science of Spirituality and Palliative Care Research Part II: Screening, Assessment, and Interventions
The State of the Science in Spirituality and Palliative Care was convened to address the current landscape of research at the intersection of spirituality and palliative care and to identify critical next steps to advance this field of inquiry. Part II of the SOS-SPC report addresses the state of extant research and identifies critical research priorities pertaining to the following questions: 1) How do we assess spirituality? 2) How do we intervene on spirituality in palliative care? And 3) How do we train health professionals to address spirituality in palliative care? Findings from this report point to the need for screening and assessment tools that are rigorously developed, clinically relevant, and adapted to a diversity of clinical and cultural settings. Chaplaincy research is needed to form professional spiritual care provision in a variety of settings, and outcomes assessed to ascertain impact on key patient, family, and clinical staff outcomes. Intervention research requires rigorous conceptualization and assessments. Intervention development must be attentive to clinical feasibility, incorporate perspectives and needs of patients, families, and clinicians, and be targeted to diverse populations with spiritual needs. Finally, spiritual care competencies for various clinical care team members should be refined. Reflecting those competencies, training curricula and evaluation tools should be developed, and the impact of education on patient, family, and clinician outcomes should be systematically assessed.
Note: this article was featured in the October 2017 ACPE Research Network Article of the Month.