A JOURNEY INTO APPLIED SPIRITUAL CARE RESEARCH
Keywords:spiritual care, research, existential, chaplaincy, multidisciplinary team, spiritual wellbeing
This article describes how a former Consultant General Surgeon became a passionate advocate of Spiritual Care through appreciating the positive relationship of spiritual wellbeing to health. The crucial importance of Spiritual Care research in developing the evidence base for Healthcare Chaplaincy as it seeks to be recognised as an Allied Health Profession and part of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team is emphasised. The concept of Existential Health is discussed, and the key role of Chaplains in supporting this is described. This approach is then used to illus-trate how Chaplains can become involved in research where patients are found to be undergoing a spiritual crisis. In the literature this has been described as “existential in origin,” and it can im-pact negatively on a serious medical condition. Post myocardial infarction depression, thought to be due to an acute existential crisis, is used as an example of planning a community-based Spiritual Care research project.
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