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The role of the chaplain in palliative care 

The role of the chaplain in palliative care
The role of the chaplain in palliative care

George Handzo

and Christina Puchalski

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date: 02 July 2022

Spirituality has been shown to be a key factor in how people understand illness and how they cope with suffering. It is especially important for people who have serious or chronic illness. Standards for palliative care include spiritual care as a required domain of palliative care. Models and recommendations have been developed to facilitate interprofessional spiritual care where all members of the team attend to the spiritual issues of patients with the professional chaplain being the expert in spiritual care in a generalist specialist model of care. Palliative care teams should have a professional chaplain with training in palliative care assigned. This chaplain functions as the spiritual care lead and the spiritual care specialist on the team.

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