In the last fifteen years, the field of palliative care has experienced a surge in interest in spirituality as an important aspect of caring for seriously ill and dying patients. While spirituality has been generally recognized as an essential dimension of palliative care, uniformity of spiritual care practice has been lacking across health care settings due to factors like varying understandings and definitions of spirituality, lack of resources and practical tools, and limited professional education and training in spiritual care.In order to address these shortcomings, more than forty spiritual and palliative care experts gathered for a national conference to discuss guidelines for incorporating spirituality into palliative care. Their consensus findings form the basis of Making Health Care Whole. This important new resource provides much-needed definitions and charts a common language for addressing spiritual care across the disciplines of medicine, nursing, social work, chaplaincy, psychology, and other groups. It presents models of spiritual care that are broad and inclusive, and provides tools for screening, assessment, care planning, and interventions. This book also advocates a team approach to spiritual care, and specifies the roles of each professional on the team. Serving as both a scholarly review of the field as well as a practical resource with specific recommendations to improve spiritual care in clinical practice, Making Health Care Whole will benefit hospices and palliative care programs in hospitals, home care services, and long-term care services. It will also be a valuable addition to the curriculum at seminaries, schools of theology, and medical and nursing schools.
Christina Puchalski, MD, is executive director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health
(GWISH). She is on the editorial board of several palliative care journals and has served as chair or co-chair of several major conferences and initiatives in spirituality and health. She is the author of Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Seriously Ill and Dying (Oxford).
Betty Ferrell is a research scientist at the City of Hope National Medical Center in California. She has devoted over thirty years to oncology nursing and research in the areas of quality of life, palliative care, and spiritual care. In 2007, Dr. Ferrell completed a master’s degree in theology, ethics, and culture from Claremont Graduate University and, in 2009, she and Dr. Puchalski led a national consensus conference on improving the quality of spiritual care in palliative care.