Grounded Presence

a qualitative methodology for spiritual care research


  • Robert Devenny NHS Lanarkshire



Healthcare, qualitative research, spiritual care


Grounded presence is a qualitative research methodology, which has been developed to identify and articulate spiritual experience associated with specific illnesses. The goal of the research methodology is to increase our knowledge of the spiritual component of a specific illness with a view to informing the healthcare service and suggesting possible improvements to spiritual care. Working within the healthcare system the approach assumes a multi-faith/no faith milieu. However, the methodology incorporates and relies on the spiritual awareness of the researcher, which could be held within a religious framework. This religious framework may provide a deeper understanding of the spiritual experiences, however, the methodology calls for the researcher to move beyond. a particular religious interpretation to a more general human interpretation. This methodology makes use of the skills of chaplains and can be augmented into routine practice. The underlying philosophy or belief structure, which underpins the methodology and from which the methodology grows, is that we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual world.

Author Biography

  • Robert Devenny, NHS Lanarkshire

    Robert Devenny is project manager, NHS Lanarkshire spiritual care review.


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How to Cite

Devenny, R. (2013). Grounded Presence: a qualitative methodology for spiritual care research. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 9(1), 8-12.