Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Spiritual Care for Everyone? An Analysis of Personal and Organizational Differences in Perceptions of Religious Diversity among Spiritual Caregivers

In multicultural and multifaith societies spiritual caregivers increasingly meet clients with diverse (non-)religious or spiritual orientations. We investigate how this religious and spiritual (R/S) diversity is dealt with by spiritual caregivers working in healthcare settings, the military, and prisons. Based on a survey among spiritual caregivers (n = 208) in a secularized, European country (The Netherlands), this study shows how spiritual caregivers’ personal as well as organizational factors relate to attitudes to R/S diversity. Spiritual caregivers who draw from several religious traditions in their lives have more positive views on spiritual caregiving to patients with another R/S orientation than theirs than those drawing from none or a singular tradition. Furthermore, authorization by a religious or Humanistic institution seldom relates to how R/S diversity is perceived, but the position of spiritual caregivers within various organizational settings and the way in which spiritual caregivers work does.