Community and Global Initiative: Faith-Based Palliative Care Initiative
Repository Posting Date2012-01-11T10:45:54Z
Author DetailsV. Dare Domico, RN, DSN; Elaine C. Harris, RN, MS, CCRN; Linda A. Streit, RN, DSN, CCRN
(41st Biennial Convention) Communities of faith are often significantly affected by illness, care giving issues, end of life needs, and grief of their members. Through combined efforts from interdisciplinary health care members and key community constituents, training programs were initiated to assist church leaders in providing non-medical comfort care to people with life-limiting illness or who are near the end of life. The purpose of the two-phase initiative was to test the feasibility of an interdisciplinary university-community service learning project. The project was designed to enhance undergraduate and graduate education with service learning opportunities unavailable in the classroom. The project incorporated interdisciplinary collaboration with faculty and students from nursing, theology, medicine and pharmacy, along with cooperation with community partners. Lay health advisors were recruited from faith organizations and subsequently trained to participate in all phases of the initiative. Activities in Phase I (assessment of congregation interest; identification of partners; and determining learning needs of congregation) were followed by Phase II (preparing training modules; concrete specific modules, such as ethical issues; orienting/training students and lay advisors; and implementing/evaluating training modules). The most compelling evidence for the feasibility of the project is the desire among community providers to provide palliative and end of life care.�Further interest and requests for training have been expressed by congregations both within Georgia, and out of state.� Following training, two of the three churches in the initial training sessions began projects to comprehensively meet the needs of members of their congregations who need palliative and end-of-life care. Participants in each of the churches reported to investigators that they planned to pursue further opportunities for palliative care service, based on knowledge gained from the project. A comprehensive review and analysis of Phase I and II, illustrates national and global opportunities to implement this project worldwide.