The Relative Prevalence of Various Spiritual Needs
Keywords:chaplaincy, pastoral care, religion, spirituality, spiritual needs
An announcement was placed in a chaplaincy newsletter inviting chaplains from the United States and Canada to participate in a survey about the spiritual needs of their patients. A total of 167 chaplains responded to the invitation and completed an on-line questionnaire. The questionnaire listed 28 spiritual needs that fell into seven categories. Chaplains were asked to rate how often they encountered patients with each of the needs, using a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 meaning “a few times a year” and 6 meaning “many times a day.” The responses of chaplains indicated that the seven categories formed a hierarchy of needs. The most common, or prevalent, of the seven spiritual needs were the need for love and belonging, and the need to find meaning and purpose, which chaplains encountered between “many times a week” to “a few times a day.”
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