Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

A preliminary study examining chaplains’ support for veterans at the end of life

This descriptive study examines the involvement of professional chaplains in addressing loss of dignity, inconsequential life or not having a legacy, fear of burdensomeness, and fear of pain in veterans at the end of life. A convenience sample of Jewish chaplains responded to an online survey gauging their involvement in these areas. Results are presented descriptively. Most respondents stated either rarely (≤1 x month) or sometimes (≥1 x month) encountering veterans with end-of-life issues. Respondents reported varying degrees of involvement in supporting veterans at the end of life with respect to the aforementioned areas. As research into the end-of-life care needs of veterans continues to develop, recognising chaplains as a source of both spiritual and psychosocial support can serve as an opportunity for better meeting the needs of this population.