Monday, June 30, 2008

'Healing space' in JAMA

JAMA recently had a commentary about introducing spirituality in medical care. The author's main point, besides calling for more research (!) is to propose a spiritual intervention - the creation of a 'healing space' - for patients and their families:

'By using a "healing space," a spiritual intervention can serve as an experiential basis to restore a sense of order and meaning for patients and their families, improving their ability to cope and to attain a sense of wholeness.'
(Details of what this could look like are provided.) The interesting thing to me here was that the author doesn't quite specify what the physician's role in this could/should be, although looking at the description of the facilitated intervention creating this healing space - this is not anything that 99.9% of physicians would have the skills at doing without there being major boundary issues (the question of whether or not any physician would want to or be able to is another question entirely). Anyway - I'm curious if anyone knows of teams which deliberately do such interventions - lead by a chaplain etc.? The author is a neonatologist, and perhaps this would be easier to do in the relatively controlled environment of a NICU...?

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