Do Oncology Outpatients Need Chaplaincy Services?


  • S.H. Cedar London South Bank University
  • Jody Mitchell London South Bank University
  • John Watts Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust
  • Mia Hilborn Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust



6C’s, inpatients, oncology, outpatients, pastoral, spiritual


Holistic patient-centred care is the aim of health services in the United Kingdom delivered through the 6Cs. Chaplains can offer aspects of this through compassionate care of the patient, particularly when a person is facing a life- limiting prognosis. This study firstly evaluated patient awareness and use of chaplaincy services in two oncology settings; Inpatient and Outpatient. Outpatients had not previously been offered chaplaincy services.  Secondly, the demand and needs for a chaplaincy intervention was investigated with patients who expressed a spiritual or religious belief and had received a chaplaincy visit.  Results indicated that half of the patients seen in the first evaluation identified with a spiritual/religious belief and both Outpatients and inpatients had a similar demand for chaplaincy visits.  Those receiving a chaplaincy visit before being evaluated generally requested further visits. Based on these results we have now established a chaplaincy visiting service in the Outpatient chemotherapy suites to try to match demands.

Author Biographies

S.H. Cedar, London South Bank University

S.H. Cedar is Associate Professor of Human Biology and Reader in Biomedical Sciences: School of Health & Social Care at the London South Bank University.

Jody Mitchell, London South Bank University

Jody Mitchell is Associate Professor of Practice Learning, School of Health & Social Care at the London South Bank University.

John Watts, Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust

John Watts is a Chaplain at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, London.

Mia Hilborn, Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust

Mia Holborn is Hospitaller and Head of Spiritual Care at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, London.


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How to Cite

Cedar, S., Mitchell, J., Watts, J., & Hilborn, M. (2018). Do Oncology Outpatients Need Chaplaincy Services?. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 6(1), 82–94.