Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

Transforming Chaplaincy well-represented at ACPE Annual Meeting

Transforming Chaplaincy was well-represented at ACPE’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona (May 8-10). Several Fellows delivered powerful talks, as well as TC Co-Director George Fitchett. Videos from the conference should be available mid-June; we will update this post when they are released. Details on the Fellows’ presentations are below. (Hover over photos for captions)

Kim Palmer
“Prevalence and Distribution of Sources of Distress among Hospitalized Patients: A Precursor Study for Developing Targeted Interventions”
Hospitalized patients experience distress from a variety of sources. In a cross-sectional study, we administered self-report questionnaires widely throughout two hospitals in the Emory Healthcare system to determine the most prevalent sources of inpatient distress, how those sources are distributed in the patient population, and how they are related to demographic and illness variables abstracted from the medical record. We used the results from this study to develop a compassion-centered intervention adapted for the bedside from Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT®), a compassion meditation training included in Emory’s CPE residency curriculum. Further research is underway, to test the effect of CBCT on chaplains’ empathic accuracy and wellbeing, to test the effect of CBCT-adapted interventions on patient outcomes, and to qualitatively explore how chaplains are incorporating compassion-centered spiritual health into their practice.

Marilyn Barnes
“Simulated Spiritual Care Encounters as an Action/Reflection Training Model”
Walking the journey of a chaplain student can be challenging. Entering that first spiritual care encounter, processing feeling, listening, and responding can leave a person anxious. To add to the process, the student must follow their action with a reflection using a verbatim and share it with others going through the same process. Using the tool of simulation, chaplain students can enter into a spiritual care encounter as an action followed by a reflection on that encounter with a simulated patient. This model provides the student with feedback from the person with whom they have offered care. This action/reflection model is student learning focused and sustainable through creative engagement of interdisciplinary team members. 

Geila Rajaee
“The Value of Chaplains”
Professional chaplaincy has historically lived embedded in health systems but as healthcare moves outside of its traditional boundaries, how are we training our chaplains to meet the needs of patients in their everyday lives? The future of chaplaincy lies in transforming the work we do at the bedside to working with individuals in our communities and partnering with healthcare stakeholders. How might we, as chaplains, engage with systems and build new skills to positively impact the health of individuals and communities?

Timothy Usset
This presentation will describe a randomized controlled trial testing an experimental spiritually integrated intervention (Building Spiritual Strength, BSS), with an established therapy for PTSD (Present Centered Group Therapy, PCGT). BSS was as effective as the control group in treating symptoms of PTSD, and more effective in treating symptoms of spiritual distress. Future implications for research and trauma treatment will be discussed, and how chaplains can play a key role in the process.

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