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$4.5M Grants Will Advance Research about Religion, Spirituality, and Health
George Fitchett, DMin, PhD, professor and director of research in the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values at Rush University Medical Center
There is a growing interest in research and evidence-based practice among health care chaplains. However, for most chaplains involvement in research is limited by their lack of education about research. This prevents chaplains from using research to guide, evaluate, and advocate for the spiritual care they provide. It also limits their ability to collaborate with colleagues who are or plan to conduct research about religion, spirituality and health.
A four-year $4.5M project funded by the John Templeton Foundation, Transforming Chaplaincy: Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes, started July 1, 2015, hopes to change this. Additional support is being provided by major professional chaplaincy and chaplaincy training organizations in the U.S.: the Association for Professional Chaplains; the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education; the National Association for Catholic Chaplains; and Neshama-the Association for Jewish Chaplains.
Together these initiatives will produce over 800 chaplains with basic or advanced research literacy. It is expected that these chaplains will be consumers of and eventually contributors to the publications and conferences of the SBM. It is also expected that they will be better positioned to collaborate in research about religion, spirituality and health with members of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and others. Given the greater importance of religious and spiritual beliefs and practices among women, the elderly, and racial/ethnic minority populations, these initiatives underscore the potential for building collaborative relationships between the Spirituality and Health SIG and the Women's Health, Aging, and Ethnic Minority and Multicultural Health SIGs.
A Note About the Author and the Project Leaders
Further information may be found at the project website www.researchliteratechaplaincy.org.