This thesis topic lies at the intersection of spirituality and healthcare. Currently there is a great deal of interest and support for including spirituality in healthcare, especially in palliative and end-of-life care. This research investigated why and how support for whole person healing dwindles in the practice of non-life-threatening medical care. When there is evidence for health and longevity for those who practice some type of spirituality (e.g., connection to nature, meaning in relationships, meditation, religion), why doesn't routine healthcare actively include it in assessing whole person health? Why isn't spirituality on the checklist for health, along with diet and exercise? What role might spiritual guides play within mainstream healthcare to improve patients' whole health?
This study used a qualitative research approach with two broad pieces in the methodology. First, current best practices for spiritual care in hospital acute and palliative care settings were established, primarily through a literature review which demonstrated gold standards. Observations about spiritual care provided at El Camino Hospital, where the researcher was a spiritual care volunteer, are included (Appendix E). A pilot study at one local routine family care clinic, Stanford Family Medicine, was then conducted in order to ascertain how spiritual care may become an integral part of routine healthcare, from the perspective of four co-researchers: a patient, a medical student, a doctor, and a nurse. This researcher concluded that while most medical professionals and the general public would like spirituality included in all healthcare there is much work to be done to make it a reality.
|Advisor:||Huffman, Anne, Erlichman, Karen|
|School:||Institute of Transpersonal Psychology|
|Department:||Low-Residency Spiritual Guidance|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Spirituality, Health education, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Biopsychosocial-spiritual, Healthcare, Medicine, Palliative, Spiritual guides, Spirituality|
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