Religion, spirituality and health care treatment decisions: the role of chaplains in the Australian clinical context

J Health Care Chaplain. 2008;15(1):25-39. doi: 10.1080/08854720802698491.


This paper summarizes the views of Australian health care chaplains concerning their role and involvement in patient/family health care treatment decisions. In general terms the findings indicated that the majority of chaplains surveyed believed that it was part of their pastoral role to help patients and their families make decisions about their health care treatment. Differences in involvement of volunteer and staff chaplains, Catholic and Protestant, male and female chaplains are noted, as are the perspectives of chaplaincy informants regarding their role in relation to health care treatment decisions. Some implications of this study with respect to quality patient centered care, chaplaincy utility, and training are noted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Clergy*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Pastoral Care / education
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Professional Role*
  • Religion*
  • Spirituality*