Compassionate care and hospice programs are being implemented in prisons across the United States.

Compassionate care, according to Tim Cunningham, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Virginia, can be effective in any environment, but particularly in places that can be stressful and isolating, such as prison.

“You don’t have to be a licensed care provider to offer compassionate care,” Cunningham said. “And there is research that suggests that when a family member or colleague or someone who is known to the patient sits and just holds their hand, that has better results and leads to decreased stress, decreased anxiety and other improvements.”

A specific program can also have far-reaching effects, Cunningham noted, on the well-being and empathy of people directly and indirectly connected to a project, whether it is prison guards or doctors or politicians.

To read the full article written by Ruth Serven Smith about this unique program in the United States click here.