Recognizing and Responding to the Spiritual Needs of Adults from Minority Religious Groups in Acute, Chronic and Palliative UK Healthcare Contexts

An Explorative Review


  • Martyn Skinner Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • Eileen Cowey University of Glasgow



Acute, chronic, minority religious groups, palliative, spiritual needs


The article reports on the findings of a systematised literature review (SLR) of how the spiritual needs of adults from minority religious groups are recognized and responded to in UK healthcare contexts. Implications for the training and practice of healthcare professionals, including chaplains, is considered. Among conclusions: healthcare staff would benefit from on-going training concerning delivering quality individualized spiritual care to people from minority religious groups. For the SLR databases, bibliographies, citations, journals and grey literature were searched. Inclusion criteria were: primary research; in English; published July 2007-September 2017; articles, books and unpublished reports; adults; acute, chronic and palliative healthcare, UK articles and contexts. Themes from 18 studies were synthesized within seven categories of spiritual need, showing a range from inadequate to excellent care being offered to Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus in six of these.

Author Biographies

  • Martyn Skinner, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

    Martyn Skinner has worked in acute healthcare chaplaincy and is now working in mental healthcare chaplaincy.

  • Eileen Cowey, University of Glasgow

    Eileen Cowey is Programme Director, MSc (Med Sci) Advanced Practice in Health Care (Healthcare Chaplaincy).


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How to Cite

Skinner, M., & Cowey, E. (2019). Recognizing and Responding to the Spiritual Needs of Adults from Minority Religious Groups in Acute, Chronic and Palliative UK Healthcare Contexts: An Explorative Review. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 7(1), 37-56.