The impact of spiritual care provided by hospital chaplains in geriatric and pediatric wards: measuring the effects and clarifying the underlying processes
This research project wants to gain insight into the effects of hospital chaplaincy activities on geriatric and paediatric patients’ functioning and to clarify the possible underlying mechanisms responsible for these effects. The project at hand will fill this knowledge gap by 1) detecting the spiritual experiences and needs of elderly, 2) revealing and testing the effects of chaplaincy care for patients in geriatric and pediatric wards in Belgian general and university hospitals, 3) clarifying the underlying processes causing these effects and 4) delivering a valid and context-tailored instrument to measure the impact of chaplaincy activities as experienced by patients. The knowledge generated by this project and by the use of the instrument is of vital importance for chaplains as a means to reflect on and improve their functioning. Furthermore, the findings of the project will inform other care professionals as well as management and care policy-makers on the role of spiritual care for elderly and children and will offer tools for policy development towards whole person care.