No training means spiritual care lacking in advanced cancer

December 21, 2012
No training means spiritual care lacking in advanced cancer
Although oncology nurses and physicians feel that spiritual care is an important, appropriate, and beneficial component of end-of-life care for patients with advanced cancer, it is infrequently offered, primarily due to a lack of training, according to research published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay)—Although oncology nurses and physicians feel that spiritual care (SC) is an important, appropriate, and beneficial component of end-of-life (EOL) care for patients with advanced cancer, it is infrequently offered, primarily due to a lack of training, according to research published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Michael J. Balboni, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues surveyed 75 patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative and 339 oncology nurses and physicians. The authors sought to examine factors that contribute to the infrequent provision of SC for patients at the EOL.

The researchers found that, although most patients with advanced cancer indicated that SC was an important component of from nurses (86 percent) and physicians (87 percent), the majority never received any form of SC from their oncology nurses (87 percent) or physicians (94 percent). Most nurses (87 percent) and physicians (80 percent) believed that SC should be provided at least sometimes. In eight examples of SC, the appropriateness was endorsed by the majority of patients (78 percent), nurses (93 percent), and physicians (87 percent). Reception of SC training was the strongest predictor of SC provision by nurses and doctors (odds ratios, 11.20 and 7.22, respectively), in adjusted analyses. The majority of nurses (88 percent) and physicians (86 percent) had not received training.

"In conclusion, patients with advanced cancer, nurses, and physicians recognize the importance, appropriateness, and beneficial impact of SC," the authors write. "The rarity of SC may be primarily due to the frequent lack of SC training."

Explore further: Future labor shortfalls of medical professionals predicted due to new demands of health-care reform

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Calling nurses to exercise as role models for their patients

August 30, 2011

Nurses, just like many of their patients, struggle to find time and motivation to exercise. But a new study may give these all-important caregivers some additional pressure and responsibility: nurses' attitudes can influence ...

Perception of inappropriate care frequent among ICU workers

December 27, 2011

A survey of nurses and physicians in intensive care units (ICUs) in Europe and Israel indicated that the perception of inappropriate care, such as excess intensity of care for a patient, was common, and that these perceptions ...

Themes identified for improving end-of-life care in ER

September 5, 2012

(HealthDay)—Major and minor themes have been identified by emergency nurses who often provide end-of-life (EOL) care in the emergency department setting, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal ...

Short-, long-course therapy comparable in T3 rectal cancer

September 27, 2012

(HealthDay)—There are no statistically significant differences in the rates of local recurrence (LR), distant recurrence, relapse-free survival, overall survival, or late toxicity in patients treated with short-course (SC) ...

Recommended for you

Genetic sequencing reveals drug resistance growth

May 25, 2016

The rate at which genetically mutated cancer cells grow may help explain why patients with a common form of leukemia develop treatment resistance, according to new research led by a Weill Cornell Medicine investigator. The ...

Taking control of key protein stifles cancer spread in mice

May 20, 2016

For cancer to spread, the cells that take off into the bloodstream must find a tissue that will permit them to thrive. They don't just go looking, though. Instead, they actively prepare the tissue, in one case by co-opting ...

Cancer can be combated with reprogrammed macrophage cells

May 20, 2016

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have generated antibodies that reprogramme a type of macrophage cell in the tumour, making the immune system better able to recognise and kill tumour cells. The study, which is published ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.