A qualitative study of patient and family perceptions of chaplain presence during post-trauma care.

Document Type


Publication Date



Spiritual Care, Neurology

Journal Title

Journal of health care chaplaincy

MeSH Headings

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Attitude to Health, Chaplaincy Service, Hospital, Family, Female, Grounded Theory, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Pastoral Care, Patients, Qualitative Research, Tertiary Care Centers, Wounds and Injuries, Young Adult


Improving the provision of spiritual care to hospitalized patients requires understanding what patients look for from a hospital chaplain, and why. This qualitative study uses grounded theory methodology to analyze data from 25 interviews with adult patients and/or adult family members who received spiritual care in a large tertiary care hospital. Analysis reveals three key themes in chaplaincy care: the attributes valued in the chaplain's presence, the elements necessary to form relationship with the chaplain, and the role of the chaplain in helping patients to discover and express meaning in their experiences. The authors weave these three themes together into a grounded theory and propose an assessment model that incorporates psychological theory about human motivation, faith development, and the development of autonomy. An understanding of the proposed assessment model can guide chaplain interventions and benefit all members of the clinical care team.



First Page


Last Page