Chaplains are seeking bigger roles in hospitals and in some cases joining the medical-care team, as new research shows positive spiritual guidance and discussion can help improve a patient's medical outcome. Medical schools are adding courses on spirituality and health, and training residents to consider patients' spiritual needs. Some two-thirds of U.S. hospitals provide chaplaincy services; others rely on local clergy and lay volunteers.
Studies indicate as many as 40% of patients with serious illnesses like cancer struggle with spiritual concerns, which can harm emotional and physical well-being, says George Fitchett, research director in the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values at Rush University Medical Center Chicago.
Read more about this in an interesting article at Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204826704577074462494881428.html?mod=rss_Health
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