Measuring the Impact of Pastoral Services on Patients in a Private Psychiatric Hospital


  • Josephine Mary Farrell St John of God Burwood Hospital
  • Andrew F. Nee St John of God Burwood Hospital
  • Karen Francis St John of God Health Care & Australian Catholic University
  • Nicole Reilly University of Newcastle



Chaplaincy, hope, mental health, multidisciplinary team, pastoral care, positive outcomes, psychiatric hospital, reduced anxiety


This study explores the impact of pastoral care interventions on the mental and emotional health of inpatients at a private psychiatric hospital in Sydney. A total of 99 patients completed study questionnaires over a 3-month period. Feedback for the service was overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority of patients reporting benefits during and after their meetings, regardless of their religious beliefs. Almost 88% of patients reported a lessening of anxiety after their meetings with pastoral care practitioners, with 85% suggesting that their interactions with the pastoral team had a significant and positive impact on their mental health. These findings were contextualized further with free text responses from respondents. The study results clearly demonstrate the importance of the pastoral services interventions in mental health settings.

Author Biographies

  • Josephine Mary Farrell, St John of God Burwood Hospital

    Josephine Farrell is a Research Officer with St John of God Health Care, Burwood, NSW, Australia.

  • Andrew F. Nee, St John of God Burwood Hospital

    Andrew Nee is Director of Mission at St John of God Health Care, Burwood, NSW, Australia.

  • Karen Francis, St John of God Health Care & Australian Catholic University

    Karen Francis is National School Research and Research Training Coordinator at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine (Ballarat Campus), Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University & St John of God Healthcare, Ballarat, VIC, Australia.

  • Nicole Reilly, University of Newcastle

    Nicole Reilly is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle.


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How to Cite

Farrell, J., Nee, A., Francis, K., & Reilly, N. (2018). Measuring the Impact of Pastoral Services on Patients in a Private Psychiatric Hospital. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 6(1), 95-113.