Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Research Priorities for Health Care Chaplaincy in The Netherlands: A Delphi Study Among Dutch Chaplains

The aim of this study was to identify research priorities for health care chaplaincy in The Netherlands according to practicing chaplains and chaplaincy leaders. To this end, a two-round Delphi study was conducted. The first round in which participants were asked to list at least three research priorities was completed by 249 respondents. Through content analysis, the resulting 811 priorities were merged into 54 research topics in 10 domains. In the second round, 179 respondents ranked these topics on a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (low priority–high priority) from the perspective of the patient/client, the organization, and the profession. Based on the mean score of each topic, five research priorities were identified: (a) to investigate the effect of chaplain care according to the patient/client; (b) to determine the patients’/clients’ need(s) for chaplaincy; (c) to investigate the effect of chaplain care on the patient/client; (d) to identify possibilities for chaplaincy practice in outpatient care; and (e) to investigate how to develop a stronger profile for chaplaincy in The Netherlands. These priorities resonate with research on this topic from other countries and indicate directions for future research efforts to improve chaplaincy care.