Article by Lory Bright-Long, MD, in Annals of Long Term Care

An article by Lory E. Bright-Long, MD, CMD, was published in the July 15, 2010 issue of Annals of Long Term Care, a journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Bright-Long is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stony Brook University Medical Center and Medical Director of the Maria Regina Residence in Brentwood, NY.

The article, titled “Palliative and End-of-Life Care in LTC: Practical Implications of Understanding Spirituality and Religion,” describes the importance of spirituality and religion in long term care, and offers guidance for physicians’ practice.

Dr. Bright-Long’s article follows up on the recommendations of a consensus conference sponsored by the Archstone Foundation published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine (Oct 2009, Vol. 12, No. 10, 885 - 904). Starting from the consensus conference’s premise that “spiritual care is a fundamental component of quality palliative care”, Dr. Bright-Long makes a strong case for including spiritual care in the long term care of patients. She lists ten ways that physicians can incorporate aspects of spiritual care into their practices, from asking some basic questions about the patient’s spirituality in the history and physical to participating in quality improvement projects that examine the role of spiritual needs in medical care. She concludes by noting that the physician can be a guiding force in the assessment of the spiritual and religious needs of patients.

Click here to see the full text of Dr. Bright-Long’s article.