Dunn takes AIM at exploring the impact of spiritual care

A project led by Laura Dunn, MD, is one of the first studies to provide an in-depth picture of what chaplains do in their work with patients and demonstrate the key contributions of chaplains to the interdisciplinary care of outpatients facing advanced cancer.

Spiritual AIM and the work of the chaplain: A model for assessing spiritual needs and outcomes in relationship,” published in the March 2014 issue of Palliative and Supportive Care, shows that Dunn and her co-authors were able to characterize in detail the nature, process, and outcomes of chaplains’ spiritual assessments and interventions with patients with advanced cancer. The study found that a minimal number of sessions with a professional chaplain seemed to have important, positive effects for patients, even among those who did not describe themselves as religious or spiritual.