Do Oncology Outpatients Need Chaplaincy Services?
Keywords:6C’s, inpatients, oncology, outpatients, pastoral, spiritual
Holistic patient-centred care is the aim of health services in the United Kingdom delivered through the 6Cs. Chaplains can offer aspects of this through compassionate care of the patient, particularly when a person is facing a life- limiting prognosis. This study firstly evaluated patient awareness and use of chaplaincy services in two oncology settings; Inpatient and Outpatient. Outpatients had not previously been offered chaplaincy services. Secondly, the demand and needs for a chaplaincy intervention was investigated with patients who expressed a spiritual or religious belief and had received a chaplaincy visit. Results indicated that half of the patients seen in the first evaluation identified with a spiritual/religious belief and both Outpatients and inpatients had a similar demand for chaplaincy visits. Those receiving a chaplaincy visit before being evaluated generally requested further visits. Based on these results we have now established a chaplaincy visiting service in the Outpatient chemotherapy suites to try to match demands.
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