To what extent are the spiritual needs of hospital patients being met?

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2005;35(3):319-23. doi: 10.2190/9X2X-QQEU-GDE9-VUXN.


Although a substantial number of studies have documented the spiritual needs of hospitalized patients, few have examined the prevalence of these needs and even fewer have attempted to measure the extent to which they are being met. Since chaplains are the primary providers of spiritual care, chaplains' visits to patients would appear to provide a reasonable proxy for the latter. Based on the limited data available, we estimated the proportion of hospitalized patients who are visited by chaplains. Our analyses yielded a point estimate of 20% (+/- 10%), depending on a number of factors.

MeSH terms

  • Chaplaincy Service, Hospital / supply & distribution*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Spirituality*