Pastoral Care Week 2021
29th October 2021
This week, 24-30 October, we celebrate Pastoral Care Week, also known as Spiritual Care Week. Pastoral Care Week is celebrated internationally across both religious and secular organisations.
Comprehensive spiritual and emotional care is an integral dimension of the Calvary Model of Care and we sincerely thank our Pastoral Care staff and volunteers for their valuable contribution to the wellbeing of the people in our care.
This year’s theme ‘Advancing Spiritual Care through Research Planning’ is highlighted by the publication of research by Susanne Schmidt (Calvary John James Hospital) and Professor Elizabeth Lobb (Calvary Health Care Kogarah) that found that pastoral care services reduced anxiety and increased overall health outcomes.
Elizabeth A. Lobb, Susanne Schmidt, Natalia Jerzmanowska, Ashley M. Swing & Safrina Thristiawati (2018): Patient Reported Outcomes of Pastoral Care in a Hospital Setting. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, DOI 10.1080/08854726.2018.1490059
This study aimed to establish whether PC visits were an effective component of a hospitalised patient’s overall health experience. Outcomes of PC visits were reported by 369 patients in 7 sites across Australia (Calvary John James Hospital, Calvary Bruce Private Hospital , Calvary Health Care Kogarah, Calvary Lenah Valley Hospital, Calvary St John’s Hospital, Calvary Adelaide Hospital). The patient reported outcomes of PC visits included: the patients felt they could be honest with themselves, with a sense of peace, a better perspective of their illness, less anxiety, and felt more in control. Five factors of the PC visit significantly related to higher patient’s overall outcomes: a. having more PC visits; b. the patient was able to talk about what was on their mind; c. they had something to be hopeful about; d. the visit focused on decisions about the patient’s healthcare; and e. a belief in God/ higher being.
- Patients felt they could be honest with themselves
- They felt a sense of peace
- They had a better perspective on their illness
- They had less anxiety
- They felt more in control
- All these were as a result of their meeting with a PC practitioner and being able to talk about what was on their mind
Austyn Snowden, Elizabeth A Lobb, Susanne Schmidt, Ashley M Swing, Pamela Logan and Catherine McFarlane (2018): ‘What’s on Your Mind?’ The Only Necessary Question in Spiritual Care. Journal for the Study of Spirituality, DOI 10.1080/20440243.2018.1431031
Around the world, chaplains provide specialist spiritual care for people with complex health needs. A survey was constructed to establish what aspects of the chaplain/ patient relationship were most important for patients in Scotland and Australia. Outcomes were measured with the Scottish Patient Reported Outcome Measure (Scottish PROM©). Results from 610 respondents showed the strongest correlation was between ‘being able to talk about what was on my mind’ and the Scottish PROM. Being able to talk about what is on my mind is more important than being listened to, having faith/ beliefs valued, or being understood. Giving the importance placed on listening and understanding by clinicians, this original and counterintuitive finding goes some way to explaining the unique role and function of healthcare chaplaincy.
- Being able to talk about what is on my mind is more important than being listened to, having faith/ beliefs valued or being understood
- Giving the importance placed on listening/ understanding by clinicians, this original and counterintuitive finding goes some way to explaining the unique role and function of healthcare chaplaincy
If you would like to know more about the research, entitled ‘Patient Reported Outcomes of Pastoral Care in a Hospital Setting’, (Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 2018) and ‘What’s on Your Mind? The Only Necessary Question in Spiritual Care’, (Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 2018), please be in touch with us here.