A key aim for Transforming Chaplaincy is advancing chaplains’ involvement in research about religion/spirituality (R/S) and health and research about spiritual care with patients and their loved ones. To achieve this aim we are developing a group of research networks. The aim of the research networks is to bring together people who can plan and execute research to advance and strengthen spiritual care in general and in specific clinical contexts. The networks will also be places for sharing information and ideas about research. If you’d like to know more or get involved, fill out this form to be added to one or more research networks. You may also click the links embedded in any of the descriptions below to request to join a network.

RESEARCH INCUBATOR NETWORKS

Chaplaincy Functions

Convened by M. Jeanne Wirpsa

The Chaplaincy Functions Research Network brings together chaplain researchers, chaplains, and non-chaplain researchers and clinicians with an interest in advancing knowledge about “activities” or “functions” of healthcare chaplains that are not specific to one patient population. Areas of focus would include: chaplain documentation, spiritual screening & assessment, chaplaincy and medical decision-making, chaplaincy and care for healthcare colleagues, case study research, and the impact of chaplain visits on patient satisfaction, to name just a few. The network will identify gaps in knowledge about chaplaincy functions, connect persons involved in research about a specific chaplain function, and seek funding to advance research in areas identified as priorities by the steering committee.

Chronic Conditions

Convened by Geila Rajaee

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6 in 10 Americans have been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and are responsible for approximately 90% of all healthcare expenditures. With this reality in mind, CIDRN has been established to engage thought-leaders, researchers, chaplains, and other collaborators to explore and participate in chaplaincy research in the area of chronic disease/illness. CIDRN will disseminate relevant research and other findings as well as foster connection between researchers and clinicians in our research area. As this network becomes established, we hope to create an opportunity for collaboration and research and to promote better understanding of the role of chaplains in the area of chronic disease prevention and intervention.

Outpatient

Convened by Petra Sprik and Beth Muehlhausen

The Outpatient Research Incubator brings together people with a shared interest in spiritual care research within outpatient settings (via in-person, phone, or mobile-health technology), including but not limited to outpatient oncology, surgery, and specialty centers.  We convene a monthly small-group of chaplains, chaplain researchers, non-chaplain researchers and clinicians, which is designed to facilitate communication about outpatient spiritual care research, and facilitate stronger, collaborative research projects.  We also disseminate up-to-date findings from research on outpatient spiritual care in a quarterly journal group.

Palliative Care

Convened by Paul Galchutt

The Palliative Care Chaplain Research Network engages the work of health care chaplaincy and what it means to help patients and families amid serious illness. The network disseminates research results/findings with the posting of links to peer-reviewed articles to presenting webinars involving the researcher(s). It also invites more active participation to consult with and collaborate among colleagues on research ideas or robust projects already in progress. Recognizing palliative care includes a wide range of environments that include inpatient, outpatient clinic, home care, and hospice realms, the Network strives to capture the work of chaplaincy as well as promote the difference it makes with the evidence base.

Pediatrics

Convened by Cate Desjardins

The Pediatric Chaplain Research Network seeks to engage chaplains, chaplain researchers, and interdisciplinary researchers with an interest in pediatric medicine and spiritual care towards advancing knowledge about and around pediatric chaplaincy. The network will be an incubator for novel research in pediatric spiritual care, as well as supporting existing projects through networking, collaboration, and opportunities for dissemination. The network invites participants eager to learn more about research in pediatric spiritual care, or to engage in research relevant to a pediatric setting. The network will disseminate to members relevant recent published research, opportunities for education around research in spiritual care, opportunities for collaboration, and seek funding to promote research in pediatric spiritual care. Researchers and chaplains at all levels are welcome to join. A few areas of focus may include (but are not limited to) the role of spirituality related to parental medical decision-making in pediatrics, chaplaincy care in palliative and neonatal care, pediatric bereavement, spirituality in pediatric psychiatry, evidence-based chaplain interventions, and the difference chaplains make in pediatric settings. The network will seek to identify areas of priority in pediatric spiritual care research and empower teams of chaplain researchers towards addressing those areas.

PTSD, Moral Injury, and Spiritual Distress

Convened by Tim Usset

The PTSD, Moral Injury, and Spiritual Distress Chaplain Research Network (PMSCRN) engages the work of health care chaplaincy and what it means to help individuals and families that have/are experiencing PTSD, moral injury, and spiritual distress. Current research in moral injury has focused largely on military/veteran populations. The PMSCRN continues work with those populations and looks to further understand the emerging concepts of moral injury and spiritual distress in other populations (such as first responders, healthcare workers, and refugees). The network disseminates research results/findings with the posting of links to peer-reviewed articles to presenting webinars involving the researcher(s). It also invites more active participation to consult with and collaborate among colleagues on research ideas or robust projects already in progress. The work of the PMSCRN will be applicable to a wide range of clinical environments that include inpatient, outpatient, and community/social media support groups. The PMSCRN strives to capture the work of chaplaincy as well as promote the difference it makes within the evidence base.