Addressing spiritual needs in palliative care: Proposal for a narrative and interfaith spiritual care intervention for chaplaincy

Iris R. Wierstra, Anke I. Liefbroer, Lenneke Post, Thijs Tromp, Jacques Körver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although many recognize the importance of addressing the spiritual
domain in palliative care, empirically grounded interventions
designed to alleviate spiritual needs for patients in palliative care are
remarkably scarce. In this paper we argue that the development of
such interventions for chaplains is important in order to improve
spiritual care in a (post)secular and religiously plural context. We
therefore propose an interfaith chaplain-led spiritual care intervention
for home-based palliative care that addresses patients’ spiritual
needs. The intervention is based on elements of spiritual care interventions
that have been investigated among other populations.
Three important characteristics of the proposed intervention are (1)
life review; (2) materiality, ritual and embodiment; and (3) imagination.
The aim of this intervention is to improve palliative patients’
spiritual wellbeing. It is anticipated that such a structured intervention
could assist in improving spiritual care in palliative care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-77
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Health Care Chaplaincy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2021


  • Chaplaincy
  • home-based care
  • palliative care
  • spiritual care

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