Abstracts of the 7th World Congress on Pediatric Critical Care
Background and aims: Families highly value practitioners who inquire about their religious and spiritual needs, particularly when faced with pediatric critical illness and medical decision-making. Yet, few training approaches exist to impart these skills.
Aims: We examined the efficacy of simulation-based workshops to train interprofessional practitioners as spiritual generalists who were capable of screening for spiritual strengths, listening for spiritual language, recognizing spiritual distress, accessing resources, and generating referrals to chaplaincy.
Methods: Participants attended day-long workshops incorporating lecture, experiential exercises, simulations with professional actors, and debriefing about the role and requisite skills of spiritual generalists. Participants completed pre-post workshop questionnaires for 15 spiritual generalist skills using 5-point Likert scales ranging from “Not at all able” to “Highly able.” The study was reviewed by the IRB and participants signed informed consent.
Results: 115 practitioners participated. On paired t-tests, participants reported significantly greater perceived ability on all 15 assessed spiritual generalist skills including abilities to conduct spiritual screening, recognize spiritual distress, make referrals to chaplaincy, and document spiritual/religious issues. On the Total Ability Score (range 15-75 points), there was a pre-post workshop improvement of 15 +/- 8 points on self-appraised ability to function as a spiritual generalist (p<.001).
Conclusions: Regardless of disciplinary affiliation, it is important that healthcare practitioners be adequately equipped to function as capable, confident spiritual generalists to recognize and meet families’ spiritual/religious needs. This simulation-based training demonstrates promising efficacy to prepare practitioners with a skill set to function as spiritual generalists to meet the needs of families facing critical illness and medical decision-making.