Multidisciplinary staff perspectives on the integration of spiritual care in a new setting: Israel

Michael Schultz, Johanna Czamanski-Cohen, Netta Bentur, Saidah Mohsen-Byadsi, Yoav Artsieli, Gil Bar-Sela

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective Integrating spiritual care into multidisciplinary care teams has seen both successful thoughtful collaboration and challenges, including feelings of competition and poor cross-disciplinary understanding. In Israel, where the profession is new, we aimed to examine how spiritual care is perceived by other healthcare professionals learning to integrate spiritual caregivers into their teams. Method Semi-structured qualitative interviews of 19 professionals (seven physicians, six nurses, three social workers, two psychologists, and one medical secretary) working with spiritual caregivers in three Israeli hospitals, primarily in oncology/hematology. The interviews were transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis. Results Respondents' overall experience with adding a spiritual caregiver was strongly positive. Beneficial outcomes described included calmer patients and improved patient-staff relationships. Respondents identified reasons for a referral not limited to the end of life. Respondents distinguished between the role of the spiritual caregiver and those of other professions and, in response to case studies, differentiated when and how each professional should be involved. Conclusion Despite its relative newness in Israel, spiritual care is well received by a wide variety of professionals at those sites where it has been integrated. Steps to improve collaboration should include improving multidisciplinary communication to broaden the range of situations in which spiritual caregivers and other professionals work together to provide the best possible holistic care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019.


  • Chaplaincy
  • Collaboration
  • Israel
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Role conflict
  • Spiritual care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Nursing


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