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J Pastoral Care Counsel. 2006 Fall;60(3):213-25.

A national survey of hospital directors' views about the importance of various chaplain roles: differences among disciplines and types of hospitals.

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The HealthCare Chaplaincy, 307 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022, USA.


A national random sample of hospital directors was asked to rate the importance of seven categories of chaplain roles and functions: 246 nursing directors, 267 social services directors, 307 medical directors, and 611 pastoral care directors. All four groups rated end-of-life care, prayer, and emotional support as being between very important and extremely important. Other roles, including consultation, advocacy, community outreach, and religious services and rituals were rated significantly less important. Significant differences were found across disciplines and hospital settings (general, psychiatric, etc.). Medical directors rated most chaplain roles lower than other directors did, and directors in psychiatric hospitals rated all roles, except religious services/rituals, lower than their counterparts in other types of hospitals. The importance that directors accorded to all the chaplain roles examined was also influenced by their own spirituality and religiosity, as well as the religious affiliation of their institution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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