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Why Is She So Distressed? 

Why Is She So Distressed?
Chapter:
Why Is She So Distressed?
Author(s):

Daniel Waechter Webb

, and Megan J. Thorvilson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190051853.003.0037
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date: 23 April 2021

Illness often raises many questions related to humanity and life meaning both for children and their families, and many lean on spirituality to sustain them in difficult times. When one’s ability to experience and integrate meaning in life becomes disrupted, patients may experience spiritual distress, which can present in physical, psychological, and social ways. The majority of pediatricians acknowledge a positive role for spirituality in healing, in strengthening the therapeutic relationship, and in providing support for patients/families, yet clinicians often feel ill-equipped to address spirituality with families. However, most parents would prefer to be open about their spiritual beliefs and practices with their medical team. In addition to the clinician, chaplains, child life specialists, social workers, and psychologists can support the evolving spiritual needs of children as they grow and develop.

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