Does Faith Concordance Matter? A Comparison of Clients’ Perceptions in Same Versus Interfaith Spiritual Care Encounters with Chaplains in Hospitals

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Abstract

© 2021, The Author(s).In religiously pluralized societies, caregivers frequently care for patients or clients with a religious, spiritual, or secular orientation that differs from their own. Empirical studies exploring the implications of this faith diversity for spiritual care interactions between caregivers and clients are scarce. Some literature suggests that similarities in faith orientation between caregivers and clients relate to better professional caring relationships than encounters with dissimilar faith orientations, while other studies suggest that faith similarities do not relate, or relate only under certain conditions, to the way in which professional caring relationships are perceived. This study supports the second line of thought. Based on a survey among 209 clients and 45 chaplains in hospitals in the Netherlands, it shows that clients in faith-concordant encounters evaluate the spiritual care encounter just as positively as do clients in faith-discordant encounters. This is in line with broader trends of secularization and blurring of boundaries between the religious, spiritual, and secular domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-377
JournalPastoral psychology
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

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