Evidence-based chaplaincy care: attitudes and practices in diverse healthcare chaplain samples.
Leaders in health care chaplaincy and practice guidelines, such as the Association of Professional Chaplains' Standards of Practice, call for chaplains to develop an evidence-based approach to their work. The extent to which practicing chaplains accept this new paradigm is unclear. The aim of this study was to gather information regarding chaplains' attitudes and practices with respect to evidence-based chaplaincy care. Data for the study came from surveys of healthcare chaplains working in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA, n = 440), the Department of Defense (DoD, n = 164), and civilian settings (n = 169). Chaplains from all three contexts strongly endorsed an evidence-based approach to chaplaincy. Approximately three-fourths of the healthcare chaplains from VA and DoD and 42% of those from civilian settings considered their current chaplaincy practices to be evidenced based, with over half in VA and DoD samples and 94% in the civilian sample indicating that they would like their chaplaincy care to be more evidence-based. Approximately half of the VA and DoD chaplains and 35% of the civilian chaplains reported currently using measurement tools in their chaplaincy care. These results suggest that there is generally strong support among practicing chaplains for an evidence-based approach to chaplaincy care.
Fitchett, G; Nieuwsma, JA; Bates, MJ; Rhodes, JE; Meador, KG
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