January 2017  Issue No. 17

HealthCare Chaplaincy Requests Research Project Information
One of the core initiatives of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) is to encourage, facilitate and conduct the development of evidence for the effectiveness and value of spiritual care and chaplaincy care. In pursuit of this, HCCN is investigating ways that the organization could enable researchers to carry out studies. HCCN would like to know if you have or would be interested in gathering data on an initiative you have developed or could develop. (HCCN)
'Caring for the Human Spirit' Conference to Highlight Value of Spiritual Care in Health Care

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) will hold its fourth annual "Caring for the Human Spirit Conference" on March 13-15 in Chicago, Ill., with a content-rich agenda focused on the further integration of spiritual care throughout health care disciplines and settings. Featured speakers are: Roshl Joan Jiko Halifax, Ph.D., founder of the Upaya Zen Center and Institute, Sante Fe, N.M.; Deborah B. Marin, M.D., Blumenthal Professor of Psychiatry, and director, Center for Spirituality and Health, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; The Rev. Kathie Bender Schwich, MDiv, FACHE, senior vice president, Mission and Spiritual Care, Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, Ill.; Shane Sinclair, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Cancer Care Research Professorship, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgery, Alberta; and Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., CPXP, president, The Beryl Institute, Southlake, Texas. There will be multidisciplinary sessions and workshops designed for health care chaplains; and, new this year, specific tracks for nurses and social workers, respectively, with the opportunity to earn a certificate as a spiritual care generalist. (HCCN)

Research Review

On End-of-Life Care: Hospice Care Linked to Higher Family Satisfaction

Families of terminally ill cancer patients may be more satisfied with the end-of-life treatment their loved ones receive when it involves hospice care, a recent study suggests. Hospice was associated with better symptom relief, attainment of pain management goals, and quality of end-of-life care, the study found. Families of patients who received at least 30 days of hospice care reported the highest quality of life outcomes. (Reuters Health)

On Patient Experience: Go to the Wrong Hospital and Death Risk Triples

Not all hospitals are created equal, and the differences in quality can be a matter of life or death. In the first comprehensive study comparing how well individual hospitals treated a variety of medical conditions, researchers found that patients at the worst American hospitals were three times more likely to die and 13 times more likely to have medical complications than if they visited one of the best hospitals. (The New York Times)

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Spiritual Care
National Institutes of Health Funds Study of Dignity Therapy in Elderly Cancer Patients
Marking one of the first times the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded a study that includes a chaplain-led spiritual care intervention, NIH's National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Nursing Research have approved a new five-year study entitled "Dignity Therapy RCT Led by Nurses or Chaplains for Elderly Cancer Outpatients." The goal of the study is to improve spiritual care outcomes for elderly patients receiving palliative care and facing a cancer diagnosis by optimizing a nurse-led or chaplain-led intervention focused on patient dignity. Diana Wilkie, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (University of Florida), Linda Emanuel, M.D. (Northwestern University), and George Fitchett, Ph.D. (Rush University Medical Center) are the principal investigators; the Rev. George Handzo of HCCN is among the co-investigators. (HCCN)

Professional Practice

Kids' Care May Suffer When Parents Clash With Medical Staff

Rude parents can rattle medical staff enough to compromise the quality of care their critically ill child receives, suggests a new study involving simulated emergency scenarios in a neonatal intensive care unit. Exposure to rudeness helped explain about 40 percent of the variance in good medical decision-making between different teams in the study, said co-author Amir Erez. The researchers also found that doctors and nurses could "inoculate" themselves against potential rudeness by taking part in computer training that decreased their emotional sensitivity, Erez said. (HealthDay)
Impact of Hospital-Employed Physicians on Quality of Care

While hospitals have increasingly become employers of physicians during the past decade, physician employment alone probably is not a sufficient tool for improving hospital care, according to the findings of a new study.  (Annals of Internal Medicine)

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Good Reads

On End-of-Life Care: One Man's Quest to Change the Way We Die

B.J. Miller, M.D., a hospice and palliative care specialist at University of California San Francisco and a triple amputee, used his own experience to pioneer a new model of palliative care at a small, quirky hospice in San Francisco. (The New York Times Magazine)
On Palliative Care: Doctor Uses Family Inheritance to Improve Palliative Care

Shoshana Ungerleider, M.D., is just three years into her career as a hospitalist at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, but she is already drawing attention in the palliative care community. Two years ago, Ungerleider turned a family inheritance into a philanthropy aimed at improving palliative care, in which keeping a patient emotionally and physically comfortable takes precedence. (Stat)

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Viewpoints: Palliative Care and Hospice

Eyes on the Prize Part II: Palliative Care Post-Election

As is true with any change of Administration, this is a time of uncertainty, and so it's worth evaluating the likely future of the palliative care field ----    as we continue to try to improve the care received by people with serious illnesses. Bottom line: we think the foundations of our field and the reasons for our work are not only unchanged, but heightened, as a result of the 2016 Presidential election. (CAPC)
American Children Deserve a Better Death

In the U.S., about 41,000 children and young adults die each year from a variety of illnesses, ranging from congenital defects to accidents. Many of them qualified for palliative care and for hospice care. But the number of dying children is dwarfed by the more than 2.5 million adults who die each year, many of whom also qualified for these end-of-life services. And that's precisely the problem: The low demand has made it very tricky to set up effective palliative care programs for children. But that doesn't mean there isn't a need.  (Slate)

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