Sarah Byrne-Martelli

Sarah Byrne-Martelli

Chaplain
Massachusetts General Hospital

Spiritual Care Integration in Inpatient Palliative Care Teams

My proposed project will explore the conditions promoting or inhibiting fully integrated spiritual care in the inpatient palliative care setting. Why do some palliative care teams include chaplains, while others do not? How are some chaplains highly trained and integrated into the team, and how is this integration, or lack thereof, understood by other members of the interprofessional team? My overall goals are 1) to better understand how structural and procedural integration and chaplaincy subspecialty training interact to produce effective spiritual care delivery in the inpatient palliative care setting, and 2) to better understand the characteristics of spiritual care delivery in highly integrated departments.

“My work as a chaplain is motivated by a vision for compassionate, integrated, and research informed spiritual care. I am driven by my professional experiences of chaplaincy across various hospice and palliative care settings, along with a clear vision of how spiritual care contributes to patient-centered, culturally humble, justice-oriented care.”