Image from Emory University.
In the midst of the COVID pandemic, health care is in the news daily. But there’s an often-overlooked element in many hospital systems: the role of chaplains. For patients experiencing loneliness, isolation, fear, and physical pain, chaplains offer much needed emotional support, spiritual guidance, and hope.
But could chaplains and the patients they support also benefit from compassion training? In search of an answer, Jennifer Mascaro, a biological anthropologist in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the Emory School of Medicine, and research partner Charles Raison, received a 2017 Mind & Life PEACE Grant. Their study sought to explore whether Emory’s Cognitively-based Compassion Training (CBCT®) could be used—not only to reduce anxiety and strengthen emotional resilience among chaplains—but to enhance the well-being of their patients.