Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Contributions of the chaplaincy service to the care of terminal patients

This study aims to identify chaplains’ understanding in relation to spirituality, and to analyze the chaplaincy’s contribution in the care of terminal patients. It is exploratory, qualitative research undertaken with seven hospital chaplains in two public hospitals in João Pessoa in the Brazilian state of Paraíba. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews and were subjected to content analysis. The categories which emerged were: Spirituality in the view of chaplains, and Contributions of the chaplaincy in employing spirituality in the care of the terminal patient. These categories evidenced that the chaplains value the spiritual dimension in their practice, helping the patient to cope with the end-of-life process. It is hoped that this study will provide resources for further investigations, bearing in mind that studies on the chaplaincy and spirituality in the care for the terminal patient remain incipient.