Sunday, August 23, 2015

Doctors Fail to Address Patients' Spiritual Needs - The New York Times

"Seventy percent of dying patients want their doctor to ask them about their religious beliefs.

Religious beliefs also often affect patients’ wishes when it comes to choosing aggressive end-of-life treatment or palliative care.

However, only half of those patients who want to discuss spiritual or religious concerns with someone in the hospital end up doing so. Those who discuss these issues – whether they initially wanted to do so or not – are, however, more likely to rate their overall hospital care as excellent. Among advanced cancer patients, 88 percent feel religion is at least somewhat important, and 72 percent feel the medical system supported their spiritual needs only minimally or not at all.

Consequently, in 2001, The Joint Commission, which accredits healthcare organizations, decreed that health care providers “receive training on the value of spiritual assessment.” Partly as a result, the number of medical schools with some education on spirituality and health has increased from 13 percent in 1997, to around 90 percent in 2014."



Doctors Fail to Address Patients' Spiritual Needs - The New York Times

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