Project Question: How should spiritual care be provided to ill patients in the medical context?
Project Description: This project aims to empirically characterize how spirituality and religion interact with life-threatening illness, and develop and test new spiritual care interventions within targeted patient populations. Key areas of study include describing the multi-layered role that religion/spirituality holds within the experience of illness, understanding how social and institutional structures shape expressions and perceptions of spirituality, and developing and testing new models of spiritual care within healthcare with particular sensitivity to a variety of epidemiological outcomes. The project also attempts to engage key ethical and policy questions concerning the provision of spiritual care within a secular healthcare setting. Finally, the project evaluates the roles and interplay between physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and clergy as they care for patients facing serious illness.