The field of Interprofessional Spiritual Care is at a critical juncture. The National Consensus Project Guidelines define spiritual care as attending to spiritual distress in patients with serious illness. Spiritual care should begin at diagnosis and continue throughout the illness. If untreated, spiritual distress can worsen physical and psychosocial symptoms. Similar to the development of Palliative Care in clinical practice, spiritual care requires an evidence base and models of care, which can be applied across settings. This includes spiritual assessment, integration of spiritual assessment in clinical care, and collaboration of clinicians and chaplains in providing spiritual care.
Aware of the need for interdisciplinary models of spiritual care, and in collaboration with Transforming Chaplaincy (TC) and City of Hope, this project will provide a critical planning period for a project to advance spiritual care as part of clinical care. Based on a current review of the field, we believe that stimulating development of models of interprofessional spiritual care will contribute to the growth and sustainability of this field. GWish has the infrastructure, the vision, and the partners to lead this effort. With funding from the John Templeton Foundation, GWish has convened leaders in the US to develop curricula, guidelines, and resources for spiritual care. The GWish program and the ISPEC curriculum are the result of 20+ years of work. ISPEC is the first interprofessional spiritual care global curriculum, which brings together clinician-chaplain teams to learn about spiritual care and to foster their leadership skills for integrating spiritual care in their clinical settings. GWish is at the forefront of stimulating the growth of this new field of care.
We propose a 12-month planning grant of $233,687 that will enable GWish, in partnership with City of Hope (COH) and TC, to further explore the background, need, and methodology for accomplishing this goal.