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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2017 Nov;54(5):707-714. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.07.027. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

What Impact Do Chaplains Have? A Pilot Study of Spiritual AIM for Advanced Cancer Patients in Outpatient Palliative Care.

Author information

1
Doris A. Howell Palliative Care Service, University of California, San Diego Health, San Diego, California, USA.
2
Spiritual Care Services, University of California San Francisco Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, San Francisco, California, USA.
3
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
5
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.
6
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
7
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA. Electronic address: laura.dunn@stanford.edu.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Spiritual care is integral to quality palliative care. Although chaplains are uniquely trained to provide spiritual care, studies evaluating chaplains' work in palliative care are scarce.

OBJECTIVES:

The goals of this pre-post study, conducted among patients with advanced cancer receiving outpatient palliative care, were to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of chaplain-delivered spiritual care, utilizing the Spiritual Assessment and Intervention Model ("Spiritual AIM"), and to gather pilot data on Spiritual AIM's effects on spiritual well-being, religious and cancer-specific coping, and physical and psychological symptoms.

METHODS:

Patients with advanced cancer (N = 31) who were receiving outpatient palliative care were assigned based on chaplains' and patients' outpatient schedules, to one of three professional chaplains for three individual Spiritual AIM sessions, conducted over the course of approximately six to eight weeks. Patients completed the following measures at baseline and post-intervention: Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale, Steinhauser Spirituality, Brief RCOPE, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual (FACIT-Sp-12), Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer (Mini-MAC), Patient Dignity Inventory, Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (10 items), and Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory.

RESULTS:

From baseline to post-Spiritual AIM, significant increases were found on the FACIT-Sp-12 Faith subscale, the Mini-MAC Fighting Spirit subscale, and Mini-MAC Adaptive Coping factor. Two trends were observed, i.e., an increase in Positive religious coping on the Brief RCOPE and an increase in Fatalism (a subscale of the Mini-MAC).

CONCLUSION:

Spiritual AIM, a brief chaplain-led intervention, holds potential to address spiritual needs and religious and general coping in patients with serious illnesses.

KEYWORDS:

Chaplaincy; cancer; palliative care; religious coping; spiritual care; spiritual distress

PMID:
28736103
PMCID:
PMC5650916
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.07.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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