The Relative Prevalence of Various Spiritual Needs


  • Kevin J. Flannelly The HealthCare Chaplaincy, New York City
  • Kathleen Galek The HealthCare Chaplaincy, New York City
  • John Bucchino Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City
  • Adam Vane Paragon Global, LLC



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.”

Author Biographies

Kevin J. Flannelly, The HealthCare Chaplaincy, New York City

Kevin J. Flannelly is the Associate Director of Research at The HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York.

Kathleen Galek, The HealthCare Chaplaincy, New York City

Kathleen Galek is a clinical psychologist and researcher at The HealthCare Chaplaincy.

John Bucchino, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City

John Bucchino is the Director of Pastoral Care and Education at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

Adam Vane, Paragon Global, LLC

Adam Vane is the CEO of Paragon Global, LLC, a consulting firm in New York City


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How to Cite

Flannelly, K., Galek, K., Bucchino, J., & Vane, A. (2013). The Relative Prevalence of Various Spiritual Needs. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 25–30.

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