The ACPE Research Network

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Winter-Spring 2014 Newsletter

On-Line Newsletter Volume 12, Number 2
Published February 27, 2014

Edited by Chaplain John Ehman, Network Convener

Network members are encouraged to submit articles for upcoming issues.
The Newsletter is published three times a year: Fall, Winter-Spring, and Summer.


Table of Contents

  1.   Research at Saint Luke’s Health System CPE Program in Kansas City  --by Marc Giedinghagen
  2.   Annual Network Business Meeting, May 8, 2014
  3.   Research Themes in Workshops and Presentations at the 2014 ACPE Conference
  4.   Research Workshops at Upcoming NAJC and APC Conferences
  5.   John J. Gleason's "Five Questions I Wish Research Would Address"
  6.   Pew Survey of "Views on End-of-Life Medical Treatments"
  7.   HealthCare Chaplaincy's "Caring for the Human Spirit" Conference: Driving the Research Agenda for Spiritual Care in Health Care
  8.   Duke Spirituality and Health Workshop
  9.   New Study on "Music Therapy and Spiritual Care in End-of-Life..."
  10. Muslim Chaplains Research Project in the UK
  11. "Mapping the Literature of Health Care Chaplaincy"


1.     Research at Saint Luke’s Health System CPE Program in Kansas City  --by Marc Giedinghagen

The Saint Luke’s Health System Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program in Kansas City, Missouri is committed to the integration of research and research literacy into the CPE curriculum so that our graduates, chaplains, and spiritual leaders are informed about research and its benefits to their ministry. Faculty members introduce research literacy to first year Residents so they are informed about qualitative, quantitative, meta-analysis, and data-analysis research. The Residency curriculum includes using Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) webinars about research topics related to spiritual care giving. The curriculum also includes didactics about how to become research literate and incorporates specific research projects. These didactics are provided by our CPE faculty, Spiritual Wellness staff, a Saint Luke’s Health System College of Health Sciences (Nursing College) research professor, and members of the Internal Review Board (IRB). Each student reads three to four research articles, writes a critical review about the articles, and represents their critical review in group. The research articles are relevant to the student’s clinical assignments and/or care giving passion(s). In their critical review of the articles, each student answers a questionnaire that contains, but is not limited to, the hypothesis, methodology, sample size, variables, analysis, strengths and limitations, and results and conclusions of the research. Then the student is asked to discuss and write about the general and specific implications for the research as it relates to their practice of ministry.

One of the ancillary benefits of research in the Saint Luke’s CPE program is the relationships established with hospital staff by CPE resident researchers, especially with the qualitative research projects. Several years ago, Chaplain Resident Vicki Penner conducted a qualitative project by which she interviewed oncology nurses. The title of her research was, "Lived Experiences of Oncology Nurses as They Cope with the Death of Patients." The human connections established by Chaplain Penner with these nurses and the story telling done by the nurses were rich and healing for both. [For more information about the healing power of storytelling in qualitative research, see the article, "Research as a Chaplaincy Intervention," by Daniel H. Grossoehme in the Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy 17, nos. 3-4 (2011): 97-99.]

The CPE Program at Saint Luke’s requires its second year Chaplain Residents to design and conduct a research project and to write a well-researched paper that addresses a particular health and spirituality subject. The expectation is that the project will offer a theologically informed spiritual care strategy for the care of patients, family, and staff directly affected by the particular health-related subject: e.g., traumas and other emergency care, strokes, heart conditions, palliative care, cancer, or ethical issues. Our current second year Resident is working at a newly opened Saint Luke’s Health System Hospice House and is conducting a research project about chaplain volunteers in hospice houses.

Our CPE students have access to an excellent medical library and to the ACPE Research Network. Since Saint Luke’s Hospital is a teaching facility, the support from the IRB and other research councils is invaluable. We have also worked with our Nursing Research Council to implement nurse and chaplain collaboration as a result of last year’s Residency research project that focused on "Nurses' Perception of the Role of Chaplain." [--For more on the project, see the Fall 2013 Newsletter, §1.]

The Rev. Dr. Marc Giedinghagen is Director of Pastoral Education at Saint Luke’s Health System CPE Program in Kansas City, MO.


2.     Annual Network Business Meeting, May 8, 2014

Our annual Network business meeting will be on Thursday, May 8, 2014, from 4:00 to 5:30 PM, at the Austin Hyatt Regency (208 Barton Springs Austin, TX 78704), as part of the ACPE national conference. Please send any agenda items to This will be a time to share projects and interests, discuss how to promote research in the ACPE, and accomplish essential business.


3.     Research Themes in Workshops and Presentations at the 2014 ACPE Conference (May 7-10, 2014, Austin, TX)

"Innovation: Research and Thinking as Our Future" will be the theme of the conference's General Session #3 on Saturday, May 10th (10:30-12:15) and will include an address by George Fitchett, DMin, PhD, Professor and the Director of Research in the Department of Religion, Health, and Human Values, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill. Dr. Fitchett's long-standing work in research within our organization and generally in the field will be honored with the inaugural Critical Thinking in Spiritual Health award.

Pre-conference ACPE Academy sessions, Wednesday, May 7th, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

"Mutually Engaged Supervisory Processes: An Evolving Theory for Supervisory CPE" -- DESCRIPTION: As Supervisory Candidates struggle with theory papers and committees, ACPE works to determine how to make the Supervisory Education process more concise and effective. This workshop will present nine processes that contribute to learning how to do CPE supervision. The nine processes are the result of a qualitative research study of 19 newly certified ACPE Associate Supervisors. The processes are: Discerning a Vocation; Learning to Receive and Give Feedback at a Profoundly Deeper Level; Accepting Support; Developing CPE Supervisory Practices and Identity; Discovering and Using Theory; Increasing Self-Awareness; Experiencing Deep Shifts in Personhood; Offering Expanded Presence; and Owning Authority with Authorities. In addition to the results from this research study, the workshop will address feedback about the proposed theory gathered from several ACPE Regions: East Central, Southeast, and North Central. The theory is being expanded to include greater theological focus. Also, the concept of Deep Shifts in Personhood is being explored; results from continuing CPE Supervisory theory development will be presented at this workshop. Participants will be invited to discuss their experiences with Supervisory CPE in response to questions posed by the presenter and by the gathered group. PRESENTER: Judy Ragsdale, PhD, Director of Education and Research in Pastoral Care and Assistant Professor in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH.

"Mental Health and Chaplaincy" -- DESCRIPTION: Chaplains are frontline providers for many individuals suffering from mental health problems and can be more effectively integrated with mental health care systems. This workshop will critically explore the research and rationale for more intentionally integrating spiritual and religious care with mental health care, with particular emphasis on how the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense have approached this topic in recent years. The presenters will discuss the evolution of evidence-based approaches to care in psychotherapy, with consideration of how introducing chaplains into the evidence-based climate of health care can constructively challenge prevailing research and patient-care paradigms in a way that helps capture patients' stories and create care that is truly patient-centered. The workshop will explore synergies with clinical pastoral education, providing time for group dialogue around ways that CPE and approaches to mental health care intersect. PRESENTERS: Keith G. Meador, MD, ThM, MPH, Professor of Psychiatry, Associate Dean for Student Health and Wellness, and Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; and Jason Nieuwsma, PhD, Associate Director for VA Mental Health and Chaplaincy and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, and psychologist at the Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), Durham, NC.

Workshops with research themes on Thursday, May 8th, 2:00-3:30 PM:

"The Common Core of Professionalism: Using a Mobile App to Enhance CPE Residents’ Training" -- DESCRIPTION: The Common Core, a smart phone application was developed by an interdisciplinary faculty group at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions. It was created to identify and reinforce shared professionalism values, attitudes, and behaviors across nine departments of a school of allied health professions. In the fall of 2013, a pilot project was conducted with CPE residents and their service line liaisons. CPE Supervisors participated in dialogue sessions with service liaisons and students. The effectiveness of the Common Core was evaluated through quantitative and qualitative research. PRESENTERS: Diane Dodd-McCue, Associate Professor, Department of Patient Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Russell H. Davis, PhD, ACPE supervisor and the Robert B. Lantz Chair and Professor of Patient Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

"FaithHealthCPE" -- DESCRIPTION: In an era of shrinking healthcare resources, Wake Forest Baptist Health has built on the vision of the Memphis Model by developing FaithHealthNC, a congregational health network. Research indicates that congregational health networks can reduce medical readmissions, reduce the cost of healthcare for patients, and improve mortality rates. FaithHealthCPE is a unique curriculum designed to support and educate both clergy and laypersons about the value of FaithHealth integration while also respecting the transformational potential of CPE for personal and professional growth. The workshop will focus on introducing participants to the basic premise of congregational health networks, how they work, and the benefits. Facilitators will share the theory behind a FaithHealthCPE curriculum and explore the design of the program. PRESENTERS: Rev. Mark E. Jensen, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology, Wake Forest University Divinity School and ACPE Supervisor, Wake Forest Baptist Health; and Emily Viverette, ACPE Supervisor and Associate Director of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Education, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem, NC

"Wired for Research and Weird Supervision – Learning Research to Enhance CPE Supervision" -- DESCRIPTION: CPE supervisors who are valued members of the interdisciplinary research teams acquire skills, knowledge and relationships that benefit their supervision of students and pastoral care to patients. In this workshop, the presenters will describe and explore opportunities and challenges faced by ACPE Supervisors who are leading and involved in research. They will describe their experience as ACPE Supervisors currently involved in research projects as team members of interdisciplinary research teams. Participants will have the opportunity to describe their experiences and best practices. PRESENTERS: Rev. Angelika Zollfrank, ACPE Supervisor, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; and Chaplain Allison Kestenbaum, ACPE Supervisor and faculty member of the Center for Pastoral Education, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY.

"Assess/Adapt/Overcome: Using the Talent Code in CPE" -- DESCRIPTION: Assess/Adapt/Overcome is well-known to a variety of military units as a mantra to getting things done in spite of overwhelming odds against the mission. Rev. Phillips has used this mantra in his work in the VA system as a CPE Supervisor for 25 years. He uses Daniel Coyle’s research in sports and music mastery as found in his best seller, The Talent Code, to attempt to assist students and residents in their learning process utilizing creative ways of adapting to the context for developing mastery in the areas of chaplaincy and spiritual care. This workshop will provide insight into this research and its application to CPE Supervision. PRESENTER: Rev. Thom Phillips, Supervisory Chaplain/CPE Supervisor, Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, OR.

Workshops with research themes on Friday, May 9th, 1:45-5:30 PM:

"Getting Our Heads Out of the Sand – Looking for Opportunities in Our Changing Organizations" -- DESCRIPTION: What does Spiritual Care and CPE have to do with helping people live well? As care increasingly happens outside the hospital, how do we fit in? With Patient Experience efforts expecting perfection, is there room for learning from one’s mistakes? How can our strengths as professionals who manage change empower us to be partners rather than victims in the changes now taking place? These are some of the questions that will be explored during this workshop. Results from a year of listening and researching the changes happening within spiritual care, theological education and our partnering institutions—the church and health care—will be shared. Together we will examine emerging opportunities in healthcare, examine the limitations of our current labels and worldviews, and consider how we might move forward into uncharted territory. Facilitator and participants will consider how the tools that we regularly use in spiritual care and CPE can be utilized in working with institutional leadership, and have opportunity to connect meaningfully with one another as partners courageously meeting the challenges of changing institutions. PRESENTER: Rev. Sue Ott-Holland, MCE, United Methodist Pastor, ACPE Supervisor, and Director of Spiritual Care, Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, WI.

"Professional Ethics – Ethics and Social Media" -- DESCRIPTION: Social media is changing the way we humans engage each other. Scientific research is discovering that it’s changing the way we think. Educational literature suggests it’s changing the way we teach. With so much change, what’s ethical when it comes to using social media in CPE? During this workshop, attendees and presenters will engage in a hearty dialogue about the ways that social media is being used in ACPE, whether or not it’s useful within the CPE paradigm, and how we supervisors determine what’s ethical as we engage in our work with CPE students. Those who attend are encouraged to bring examples of how they use social media with CPE students, how it is (re)shaping theories of CPE education, and how they made the decision to use it - or to avoid it. We will be consulting the ACPE Code of Ethics as we engage this challenging subject. PRESENTER: Rev. Dr. Oertli, ACPE Supervisor and Vice President, Mission and Spiritual Care, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal, IL.

"Curriculum Development in Action: An Integrative Project" -- DESCRIPTION: Drawing from the work physicians at Johns Hopkins, in particular the research of Dr. David Kern, Dr. Paula Teague, and Mr. Ty Crowe, this workshop will introduce a definition for curriculum and the six-steps involved in curriculum design - from problem identification to implementation and evaluation. These steps will be introduced within the framework of a CPE program, with special emphasis on evaluation measures. The second part of the presentation will focus on a project entitled: "Chaplains on the Medical Team: An Interprofessional Partnership in Patient Care," which attempts to address the gaps in education between Medical Residents and CPE Trainees at Johns Hopkins. The project, when implemented, has the potential to address many discrepancies reported from physicians when addressing spirituality and the spiritually related concerns of their patients. It also attempts to minimize the degree of insulation many CPE trainees report from their clinical experiences with physicians. The project will highlight the six steps of curriculum development outlined in the first half of the presentation. Both Dr. Teague and Mr. Crowe completed course work in Longitudinal Curriculum Development, where they partnered for 10 months with a team of Medical Fellows (Dr. Sandoval and Dr. Hemming) as well as three Supervisory Education Students (Fr. Rogers, Ms. Akmal, and Dr. Saidi) to complete this curriculum, which was implemented during the fall of 2013 on select clinical areas of Johns Hopkins Academic Medicine. PRESENTERS: Mr. Thomas (Ty) Crowe, MDiv, ACPE Supervisor and Director of the Pastoral Care Department at The Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Rev. Dr. Paula Teague, ACPE supervisor and Director of Pastoral Care at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD.


4.     Research Workshops at Upcoming NAJC and APC Conferences

Among the research-themed events at the National Association of Catholic Chaplains conference, May 17-20, 2014, in St. Louis, MO, is the workshop: "New Frontiers in Research: Chaplains as Natural Qualitative Interviewers and Research Partners," with Robert Mundle, ThM, BCC, Spiritual Health Practitioner, Providence Care, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; and Caterina Mako, ThM, BCC, Director of Chaplaincy, Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Melville, NY (--see description in the conference brochure).

At the Association of Professional Chaplains conference, June 18-22, 2014, Anaheim, CA, workshops include: "But I’m Not a Researcher: The Role and Importance of the Chaplain on the Research Team," with George Handzo, MDiv, CSSBB; Marilyn Barnes, MA, PCC; Kevin Massey, MDiv; and Dane Sommer, BCC; and "Invigorating Your Chaplaincy Practice through Qualitative Research," with Laura Dunn, MD; Jennifer James, PhD (c), MSW, MSSP; and Michele Shields, DMin, BCC, ACPE Supervisor.


5.     John J. Gleason's "Five Questions I Wish Research Would Address"

From the Editor: This is the second in a new series for our Newsletter, whereby members of our Network are invited to suggest five practical questions for research that could be valuable for chaplains and/or the ACPE. This is the sort of generative thinking that often takes place informally at chaplaincy gatherings but seldom reaches a wider audience. Rev. John J. (Jack) Gleason, DMin, BCC (retired), ACPE Supervisor Emeritus, has been a strong advocate for research in the ACPE throughout his career and a key contributor to our Network. He lives in Greenwood, IN. Among his recent projects has been the Spiritual Care Initiative for Professional Excellence (SCIPE), which is now in the process of publication in four volumes.   --JE

1) In general, I wish research would test the hypothesis that professional spiritual care is cost-effective, given the rapid emergence of the pay-for-performance paradigm in U.S. healthcare and the accompanying need for professional spiritual care to demonstrate its viability in the new environment.

2) In that specific vein, I wish research would test the hypothesis that a valid and reliable post-intervention brief survey, using accepted statistical procedures, measures professional spiritual care effectiveness.

3) In that specific vein, I wish research would replicate professional spiritual care interventions sufficiently by using acceptable statistical procedures, to be able confidently to designate those interventions as evidence-based professional spiritual care best practices, a necessity for viability in the new environment.

4) In that specific vein, I wish research would test the hypothesis that self-supervision toward increased effectiveness by professional spiritual care and education providers via the use of a standardized protocol--incorporating such items as the central issue, a narrative summary of the situation and spiritual care provided, a narrative summary of what would be the most effective spiritual care, and recommended resources--is cost-effective.

5) In that specific vein, I wish research would test the hypothesis that professional spiritual care reduces the number of 30-day hospital readmissions.


6.     HealthCare Chaplaincy's "Caring for the Human Spirit" Conference: Driving the Research Agenda for Spiritual Care in Health Care

HealthCare Chaplaincy ( in New York City will be holding its first annual "Caring for the Human Spirit" Conference: Driving the Research Agenda for Spiritual Care in Health, March 31-April 3, 2014, at the New York Academy of Medicine (1216 Fifth Avenue, at 103rd Street), New York, NY. Six major studies, sponsored by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, will be presented:

  • "Hospital Chaplaincy and Medical Outcomes at the End of Life," from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA) -- Project director: Tracy Balboni, MD; Project chaplain: Angelika Zollfrank, BCC.
  • "Understanding Pediatric Chaplaincy in Crisis Situations," from the Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City, MO) -- Project director: John Lantos, MD; Project chaplain: Dane Sommer, BCC.
  • "Impact of Hospital-Based Chaplain Support on Decision-Making During Serious Illness in a Diverse Urban Palliative Care Population," from the Emory University (Atlanta, GA). Project director: Tammie Quest, MD; Project chaplain: George Grant, ACPE Supervisor.
  • "Caregiver Outlook: An Evidence-Based Intervention for the Chaplain Toolkit," from the Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC). Project director: Karen Steinhauser, PhD; Project chaplain: Annette Olsen, BCC.
  • "Spiritual Assessment and Intervention Model (AIM) in Outpatient Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer," from the University of California (San Francisco, CA). Project director: Laura Dunn, MD; Project chaplain: Allison Kestenbaum, BCC.
  • "'What do I do' – Developing a Taxonomy of Chaplaincy Activities and Interventions for Spiritual Care in ICU Palliative Care," from the Advocate Charitable Foundation and Advocate Health Care (Chicago, IL). Project director: Kevin Massey, BCC; Co-principal investigator: William Summerfelt, PhD.
More information is available from the conference brochure. (News of the grants for this research was noted in our Winter 2012 Newsletter, §8.)


7.     Pew Survey of "Views on End-of-Life Medical Treatments"

The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life has released another intriguing report from a national survey: "Views on End-of-Life Medical Treatments," indicating that a "growing minority of Americans say doctors should do everything possible to keep patients alive" [--from the Pew website]. Phone interviews were conducted with a random sample of 1,994 adults in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, between March 21 and April 8, 2013. The full report, including a description of methodology and the interview questionnaire, is available from the Pew website.

When asked about end-of-life decisions for other people, two-thirds of Americans (66%) say there are at least some situations in which a patient should be allowed to die, while nearly a third (31%) say that medical professionals always should do everything possible to save a patient’s life. Over the last quarter-century, the balance of opinion has moved modestly away from the majority position on this issue. While still a minority, the share of the public that says doctors and nurses should do everything possible to save a patient’s life has gone up 9 percentage points since 2005 and 16 points since 1990.

The uptick comes partly from a modest decline in the share that says there are circumstances in which a patient should be allowed to die and partly from an increase in the share of the public that expresses an opinion; the portion that has no opinion or declines to answer the survey question went down from 12% in 1990 to 8% in 2005 and now stands at 3%.

When thinking about a more personal situation, many Americans express preferences for end-of-life medical treatment that vary depending on the exact circumstances they might face. A majority of adults say there are at least some situations in which they, personally, would want to halt medical treatment and be allowed to die. For example, 57% say they would tell their doctors to stop treatment if they had a disease with no hope of improvement and were suffering a great deal of pain. And about half (52%) say they would ask their doctors to stop treatment if they had an incurable disease and were totally dependent on someone else for their care. But about a third of adults (35%) say they would tell their doctors to do everything possible to keep them alive – even in dire circumstances, such as having a disease with no hope of improvement and experiencing a great deal of pain. In 1990, by comparison, 28% expressed this view. This modest uptick stems largely from an increase in the share of the public that expresses a preference on these questions; the share saying they would stop their treatments so they could die has remained about the same over the past 23 years.

At the same time, a growing share of Americans also believe individuals have a moral right to end their own lives. About six-in-ten adults (62%) say that a person suffering a great deal of pain with no hope of improvement has a moral right to commit suicide, up from 55% in 1990. A 56% majority also says this about those who have an incurable disease, up from 49% in 1990. While far fewer (38%) believe there is a moral right to suicide when someone is “ready to die because living has become a burden,” the share saying this is up 11 percentage points, from 27% in 1990. About a third of adults (32%) say a person has a moral right to suicide when he or she “is an extremely heavy burden on his or her family,” roughly the same share as in 1990 (29%).

Meanwhile, the public remains closely divided on the issue of physician-assisted suicide: 47% approve and 49% disapprove of laws that would allow a physician to prescribe lethal doses of drugs that a terminally ill patient could use to commit suicide. Attitudes on physician-assisted suicide were roughly the same in 2005 (when 46% approved and 45% disapproved). [--from the report Overview, pp. 5-7]
This is a rich document with much of interest to chaplains dealing with end-of-life care. It has been released with three accompanying online resources: "To End Our Days: The Social, Legal and Political Dimensions of the End-of-Life Debate," "Religious Groups’ Views on End-of-Life Issues," and an interactive timeline of Key Dates in the End-of-Life Debate.

[Note: We have previously highlighted Pew reports in our Fall 2012 and Spring-Summer 2012 Newsletters.]


8.     Duke Spirituality and Health Workshop

For the eleventh year, the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, in Durham, NC, will hold its five-day research-oriented summer workshop, August 11-15, 2014, hosted by Dr. Harold G. Koenig. The event is recognized by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) as an educational event providing 30.5 hours of continuing education that can be applied to the educational hours required by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification, Inc. Tuition discounts are available. Enrollment will be limited.

A brief description from the event's publicity is as follows:

Each workshop compresses material presented in our past 12-month post-doctoral fellowship into 5 days, and is the only place in the world where specific training on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality and health can be obtained from researchers active in the field for over 25 years. We recommend these courses for researchers early in their career and for seasoned researchers wishing to shift their work into spirituality and health, as well as for undergraduate and graduate students or others considering research in this area. Those more generally interested in spirituality and health will also find this workshop useful, as we cover a lot of material on this subject applicable to laypersons. [--website]


9.     New Study on "Music Therapy and Spiritual Care in End-of-Life..."

Chaplains periodically have the pleasure of working with Music Therapists, and the role of music in spiritual interventions has been noted before by our Network (--see the August 2008 Article-of-the-Month). A new study has been conducted by Meganne Masko, PhD, MT-BC/L, Assistant Professor, Music Therapy, University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND): "Music therapy and spiritual care in end-of-life: ethical and training issues identified by chaplains and music therapists," completed as part of Dr. Masko's PhD work at the University of Iowa in 2013. ACPE Supervisor Larry Shostrom (UnityPoint Health-Trinity, Rock Island, IA) was a consultant in this research.

The full dissertation is available freely from Iowa Research Online: The University of Iowa's Institutional Repository. Excerpts from the abstract:

The overarching purpose of this study was to explore the thoughts and attitudes of hospice chaplains and music therapists (MTs) related to the questions, "Is it appropriate for music therapists to provide spiritual care as part of the hospice team," "What kind of training and preparation do music therapists and chaplains think hospice music therapists should have before engaging in spiritual care work," and "What should the content be of spiritual care training for music therapists?" ...The first phase of the study included semi-structured interviews with eight music therapists and seven chaplains specializing in hospice care. ...Phase II of the study included the development and implementation of a survey tool to explore the results of Phase I with a larger group of participants. The following questions were used as the basis for the survey tool: 1) How appropriate do chaplains and music therapists feel it is for music therapists to provide spiritual care as part of the hospice team? 2) What is the scope of practice for music therapists with regards to providing spiritual care as part of the hospice team? 3) How important are specific aspects of cultural competence in providing ethically sound spiritual care to hospice patients? 4) How do music therapists' music selections for addressing spiritual goals reflect culturally competent practice? 5) What are the personal boundaries that should be maintained by music therapists in order to provide ethically sound spiritual care? 6) How do music therapists feel their personal spiritual beliefs influence their interactions with patients? 7) What types of previous spiritual care training do music therapists report completing? 8) What training topics do music therapists and chaplains feel music therapists should study in order to provide competent spiritual care? 9) What types of training methods do music therapists and chaplains think are most appropriate for music therapists wanting to learn more about spiritual care? 10) What, if any, differences exist between chaplains' and music therapists' responses to these research questions? ...A final sample of music therapists (n=48) and chaplains (n=44) completed the survey. Results indicated that the role of music therapists includes providing spiritual care as part of the hospice team. ... The spiritual care scope of practice for music therapists identified by survey participants included assisting with spiritual practices, experiencing God or a higher power, assisting with meditative practices, and assisting with guided imagery experiences. ... Participants identified specific personal boundaries that should be maintained when providing spiritual care, including avoiding pushing one's personal beliefs onto a patient or family. ... Differences were seen between music therapists and chaplains on their understanding of the concept of "spirituality" and "spiritual care." There were also differences between the two groups on questions of the importance of knowing one's own background as a component of cultural competence, as well as the appropriateness of music therapists providing spiritual care/counseling.

Dr. Masko is working on a series of journal articles based on the study. She may be contacted at


10.   Muslim Chaplains Research Project in the UK

The Cardiff University Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK has produced a number of publications as part of its Muslim Chaplains Research Project. Among these are the following by the project's Principal Investigator, Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Professor in Religious and Theological Studies at Cardiff:

Gilliat-Ray, S. "Body-works and fieldwork: research with British Muslim chaplains." Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 11, no. 4 (2010): 413-432. [(Abstract:) ‘The body’ has become a significant topic of theoretical discussion within social scientific writing, as well as within qualitative research methods debate (especially in the sociology of health and illness). This paper argues that these trends are, paradoxically, far less apparent with the sociology of religion, and virtually non-existent within the study of Islam and Muslims in Britain. On the basis of fieldwork experiences with British Muslim chaplains, I explore how visible markers of difference and identity that are inscribed on the body of the researcher (especially age, gender and race) can have important implications for the data that one is – or is not – able to collect. The paper considers how researchers are ‘moved about’ fieldwork sites by research participants, and how our physical transitions around different contexts (homes, corridors, wards, cells, etc.) and by different means (on foot, by car) require particular physical behavior in relation to the socio-cultural rules and institutional norms that govern these spaces.]

Gilliat-Ray, S. "'Being there': the experience of shadowing a British Muslim hospital chaplain." Qualitative Research 11, no. 5 (2011): 469-486. [(Abstract:) This article critically evaluates ‘shadowing’ as a qualitative research method. Sometimes described as the relatively straightforward opportunity to observe and record the actions and behaviors of a single individual during the course of their everyday working activities (McDonald, 2005), this article demonstrates that shadowing is often a highly disruptive and to some extent performative undertaking, both for the researched and for the researcher. Yet, it is precisely the disruptive potential of shadowing that makes it a valuable data collection method, offering the opportunity to gain significant insights that would be largely unobtainable via any other method. Following a brief discussion of shadowing as a research tool and an introduction to the ‘Muslim Chaplaincy Project’, the remainder of the article describes the experience of shadowing an individual Muslim hospital chaplain in detail. What becomes apparent is that shadowing has the potential to blur into other qualitative data collection methods (e.g. interviewing), especially when those we are shadowing have developed roles that engage them in various discursive communities, and a range of cooperative networks. Shadowing such individuals complicates our understanding of how this method operates in practice.]

Gilliat-Ray, S., Ali, M. and Pattison, S. Understanding Muslim Chaplaincy. Ashgate AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Series. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2013. [(Publisher's Description:) Understanding Muslim Chaplaincy provides a lens through which to explore critical questions relating to contemporary religion in public life, and the institutionalization of Islam in particular. Providing a rich description of the personnel, practice, and politics of contemporary Muslim chaplaincy, the authors consider the extent to which Muslim chaplaincy might be distinctive in Britain relative to the work of Muslim chaplains in the USA and other countries. This book will make a major contribution to international debate about the place of religion in public life and institutions. This book derives from research that has depended on exclusive access to a wide range of public institutions and personnel who largely work 'behind closed doors'. By making public the work of these chaplains and critically examining the impact of their work within and beyond their institutions, this book offers a groundbreaking study in the field of contemporary religion that will stimulate discussion for many years to come about Islam and Muslims in Western societies.]

Professor Gilliat-Ray may be contacted about the project at


11.     "Mapping the Literature of Health Care Chaplaincy"

At our last Network business meeting, Diane Dodd-McCue announced a forthcoming article identifying and examining the core journal literature sources for health care chaplaincy. That article has now been published and is available freely online through PubMed Central.

Johnson, E., Dodd-McCue, D., Tartaglia, A. and McDaniel, J., "Mapping the literature of health care chaplaincy," Journal of the Medical Library Association 101, no. 3 (July 2013): 199-204. [(Abstract:) OBJECTIVE: This study examined citation patterns and indexing coverage from 2008 to 2010 to determine (1) the core literature of health care chaplaincy and (2) the resources providing optimum coverage for the literature. METHODS: Citations from three source journals (2008–2010 inclusive) were collected and analyzed according to the protocol created for the Mapping the Literature of Allied Health Professions Project. An analysis of indexing coverage by five databases was conducted. A secondary analysis of self-citations by source journals was also conducted. RESULTS: The 3 source journals—Chaplaincy Today, the Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, and the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling—ranked as the top 3 journals in Zone 1 and provided the highest number of most frequently cited articles for health care chaplaincy. Additional journals that appeared in this highly productive zone covered the disciplines of medicine, psychology, nursing, and religion, which were also represented in the Zones 2 and 3 journals. None of the databases provided complete coverage for the core journals; however, MEDLINE provided the most comprehensive coverage for journals in Zones 1 and 2, followed by Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and ATLA. Self-citations for the source journals ranged from 9% to 16%. CONCLUSIONS: Health care chaplaincy draws from a diverse body of inter-professional literature. Libraries wishing to provide access to journal literature to support health care chaplaincy at their institutions will be best able to do this by subscribing to databases and journals that cover medical, psychological, nursing, and religion- or spirituality-focused disciplines.] [The authors note on p. 103 that the journal, Chaplaincy Today, has ceased publication.]



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