This project lays the groundwork required to eliminate the gap between research showing the importance of spiritual care and organizational practices. A recent Journal of the American Medical Association article, “Spirituality in Serious Illness and Health,” demonstrates the value of religion and spirituality in patient-centered care. This planning grant will enable a conversation among leaders in administration, clinical care, and spiritual care to develop a clear strategy and request for proposals that will incentivize the institutional investment or take-up required to mainstream spiritual care.
The research team will conduct a scoping review of effective spiritual care interventions for individuals and institutions, outline effective strategies for sustaining successful managerial interventions that attend to patient and staff experience, and develop a business model that connects the two. While individual level interventions are important, they overshadow the broader institutional changes required to fully integrate religion and spirituality in health care delivery.
The project team includes a professionally diverse group at Brandeis University, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), VCU Medical Center, and an Advisory Committee. The team will disseminate a publicly available working paper with guidelines for how to implement chaplaincy interventions in health care organizations, a draft business model, and two journal articles that bridge research and institutional practice. They will also produce public facing versions of these materials for a broad range of healthcare administrators and deliver them to these audiences. The Advisory Committee will network clinicians, health care leaders, and administrators who can promote the future steps needed to mainstream spiritual care in their institutions.