Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

Affiliated Project Updates

Alongside the original Transforming Chaplaincy project that launched our think tank, several other studies began with the goal of improving patient outcomes through research literacy.

The first is a pilot study titled “Evaluating the Impact of Chaplain Care on End-of- Life Outcomes in the ICU.” Families whose loved one with an advanced illness is admitted to an ICU often are unprepared to make difficult decisions about goals of care and, as a result, request or accept futile, life-prolonging care. An experienced chaplain who is well-integrated into the ICU team can help provide support around these decisions. This pilot study examines the impact of chaplain care on end-of-life outcomes for patients with advanced illness admitted to an ICU. It describes the spiritual care provided by chaplains to ICU patients and families at the end of life and examines the association between chaplain spiritual care and end of life outcomes (e.g., LOS) in the ICU. Co-Primary Investigators for this project are George Fitchett, RUMC, and Alexia Torke, IU School of Medicine; Co-Investigator is Daniel Grossoehme, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center.

Another project is Assessing + Reimagining Chaplaincy Education. This project investigates the pedagogical and theological foundations of chaplaincy education in healthcare, premised on the idea that the educational bases for chaplaincy education are several decades out of date. Chaplains may be in greater demand in coming years as fewer people claim formal religious affiliation and may, therefore, turn to individual spiritual or religious leaders in the midst of health crises. Co-Investigators on this project are Wendy Cadge of Brandeis University, George Fitchett of RUMC, and Trace Haythorn of ACPE; Primary Researcher is Beth Stroud of ACPE.

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