Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

Lectio Divina: A Preliminary Evaluation of a Chaplaincy Program

This participant outcome evaluation serves as a preliminary investigation into the effects of lectio divina, a chaplaincy service representing a form of focused Scripture reading. A sample of n = 19 patients who participated in this service at a Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in upstate New York was screened at baseline and 30-days follow-up using the Duke University Religion Index, Berg Spiritual Injury Scale, and a screening question for thoughts of harming self or others. These measures were used to assess the intended outcomes of enhanced religiosity, ameliorated spiritual injury, and decreased thoughts of violence. Data were collected through retrospective clinical chart reviews. The outcomes of enhanced religiosity or decreased thoughts of violence were not observed in this sample population. Ameliorated spiritual injury was observed in veterans with substantial engagement in lectio divina (>2 sessions) as well as those who endorsed thoughts of harming self or others.