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Spiritual issues in palliative medicine 

Spiritual issues in palliative medicine
Chapter:
Spiritual issues in palliative medicine
Author(s):

Susan E. McClement

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199656097.003.0171
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date: 24 February 2021

The focus of palliative care is the whole person, including biopsychosocial, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of patient needs. The burgeoning literature examining the topic of spirituality within health care in general, and within palliative care in particular, underscores the notion that attending to patients’ spiritual care needs is a vital part of providing optimal palliative care. Yet health-care providers frequently report that they feel ill equipped to provide spiritual care at the end of life and wrestle with many questions and uncertainties: What is spiritual care? What is spiritual suffering? Who should provide spiritual care? How is a spiritual assessment conducted? What are some spiritual interventions for end of life care? What are some future research directions in the area of spiritual care? Answers to these questions form the basis of this chapter.

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