A Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Chronically Ill and Dying

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This book is a thoughtful, informative, and practical guide for anyone involved in caring for the seriously and chronically ill or dying. The connection between spirituality and medicine has been receiving a lot of attention in both the scientific and lay presses recently, but research and anecdotal evidence all indicate that spirituality is central to the care of the chronically ill and dying. It is therefore critical that healthcare providers who interact with seriously ill patients know how to address their spiritual needs.

This book presents current thinking on how spiritual care can be integrated into traditional caregiving. Part one discusses aspects of spirituality, such as presence, ethics, and relationships. Part two delves into a number of specific religious and theological traditions. Part three offers practical applications and tools, including storytelling, psychotherapy, dance, music, and the arts. Part four focuses on patients' stories and reflections. The book concludes with appendices that have sample advance directives for Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim patients.

Volume editor Christina Puchalski is the director of the George Washington Institute of Spirituality and Health. She is also an associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center and an active practicing physician and medical educator. Dr. Puchalski is nationally and internationally recognized as a pioneer in the integration of spirituality and healthcare. Chapters are authored by an impressive group of medical and religious experts, and patients' stories also appear throughout, offering real-world examples. The book features a foreword by the Dalai Lama.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is my Palliative care book of the year!...Anybody who works in palliative care will be enriched by reading this book. Although we nod and agree that spiritual care is an important and integral part of holistic palliative medicine, dealing with problems related to spirituality in more than the most superficial way is not easy for many palliative care workers, particularly if their job is busy. If you want to learn about all the other things you can or should be doing at the bedside, read this book. Being able to practice the spiritual dimensions of palliative care will be of benefit to your patients, more of whom will die in peace, with dignity. And it will quite probably enhance the professional satisfaction you get working with the dying."—IAHPC Newsletter

"This text is well written and is definitely an interesting source of information and reading for all those who are involved with the care of the chronically ill and dying. The book teaches us that while not everyone has a religion, everyone does have spiritual needs."—Oncology News

"This book should be required reading for all professionals or laypersons who have significant contact with patients and families facing terminal or chronic illness...All who aspire to provide the best possible compassionate care in any health care setting are advised to take this to heart, and this book provides an excellent basis for doing so."—PsycCRITIQUES

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195146820
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/31/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

George Washington University Medical Center
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Table of Contents

1 The role of spirituality in the care of seriously ill, chronically ill, and dying patients 5
2 Spirituality in palliative care : an ethical imperative 27
3 Spiritual care : compassion and service to others 39
4 Spiritual stages of dying 55
5 The spiritual issues faced by children and adolescents at the end of life 83
6 The healthcare professional as person : the spirituality of providing care at the end of life 101
7 On sacred ground - the role of chaplains in the care of the dying : a partnership between the religious community and the healthcare community 115
8 A Buddhist approach to end-of-life care 131
9 Spirituality in end-of-life care from a Catholic perspective : reflections of a hospital chaplain 139
10 Building bridges : the Protestant perspective 155
11 Spirituality in palliative care - a Hindu perspective 171
12 Faith and Islamic issues at the end of life 183
13 Spirituality, suffering, and prayerful presence within Jewish tradition 193
14 Ojibwe beliefs and rituals in end-of-life care 215
15 Spiritual care : practical tools 229
16 Caring for patients at the end of life : honoring the patient's story 253
17 Meaning-centered group psychotherapy for cancer patients 269
18 Reflections on dance and music therapy in palliative care 283
19 "Waking dreams" : the arts : a nondenominational tool for reconnecting spirituality and medicine 299
20 The role of music at the end of life 319
21 Grief : a wall or a door 331
22 Transformation and redemption through the dark night of the soul 345
23 Rhonda - patient as teacher 353
24 Hope for the future 361
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