Helpful documents and publications relating to chaplaincy reserach

Listed below are articles/books/documents that relate to chaplaincy research and would make a good starting point for any chaplain exploring research.

Research standards

Produced in 2005 by Mark Cobb, Peter Speck, and Derek Fraser Healthcare Chaplaincy Standards - Research sets out four standards relating to chaplaincy involvement with research. While the standards include active involvement with research projects and programmes they recognise that undertaking research is not for all. However, the standards envisage that all chaplains should be aware of current research and be able to evaluate the findings.

The Potential for Efficacy of Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS (UK).

This scoping review of recent research was published by Dr Harriet Mowat in January 2008. Well presented, informative and accessible the report highlights the lack of research written by chaplains. In light of this it sets out clearly its own research methodology as a possible model to follow. In addition, the final section of the report suggests a research agenda for healthcare chaplains. Drawing upon an exploration of the patients’ journey through the healthcare service the report suggests preoccupations and concerns that patients, carers, staff and the organisation as a whole may have. From this a list of possible empirical research topics is developed for each stage of the journey.

Reclaiming Mystery and Wonder: Towards a narrative based perspective on chaplaincy

Over recent years there has been increasing recognition of the role of narrative for health research. In this article published in the United States Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy (13, no.1 (2002) John Swinton is clear that chaplaincy must be evidenced based and embrace research. However, he argues strongly for the place of interpretative research based on listening to and reflecting on stories to complement standard scientific approaches.


National Research Ethics Service Leaflet - defining research


It is not always clear if a project you wish to undertake is research, or whether it is some other activity such as audit or service evaluation. Nearly all research will require review by an Research Ethics Committee (REC). This leaflet, produced by the National Research Ethics Service, provides help to differentiate between research, audit, and service evaluation as well as containing informaion on when an ethical review is required.