Terminally ill patients who are supported by religious communities are more likely to receive aggressive end-of-life care rather than hospice care; spiritual support from medical teams may reverse this
- Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
- Correspondence to : Dr Ingela C V Thuné-Boyle, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK;
Implications for practice and research
Patients with cancer in the USA who receive spiritual support from religious communities alone may receive more aggressive end-of-life (EOL) medical interventions and are less likely to access hospice care.
Additional spiritual care and EOL discussions by the medical team may reduce aggressive treatments.
Research is needed outside the USA to validate these findings in more secular cultures and establish the efficacy of spiritual needs interventions.
Evidence-based training is essential to allow healthcare professionals (HCPs) to implement guidelines to ensure appropriate EOL care.
The provision of spiritual care by HCPs during the palliative phase …