Centre for Health and Social Research

ACU Pastoral Care Research Collaboration


Here you will find examples of the multidisciplinary research our members undertake that seeks to contribute to the body of evidence on the benefits of pastoral care to patients, staff and families.

Introduction to the PCRC

Current Projects

Understanding How Pastoral Care Does And Should Fit Into The Juvenile Justice System
Chloe Gordon

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Proposed Projects

Professional Development And Self-Care – Identifying Personal Strengths And Areas For Development In Pastoral Care Providers
Joel Anderson

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Pastoral Care Publications

How Patients Experience Pastoral Care in a Tertiary Health Care Setting
Rev. Jenni Ashton, Deidre Madden, Leanne Monterosso

This research aimed to establish the level of consumer experience with pastoral/spiritual care provision in a large tertiary
private hospital. Two hundred and twenty-seven patients and bereaved carers of deceased patients who had received pastoral
care were surveyed, with a response rate of 20% (n¼44). The key finding was the positive impact of pastoral care encounters,
with the majority of respondents reporting provision of pastoral care to be helpful, and offered with courtesy and

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International Study of Chaplains’ Attitudes About Research
Austyn Snowden, George Fitchett, Daniel H. Grossoehme, George Handzo, Ewan Kelly, Stephen D. W. King, Iain Telfer, Heather Tan & Kevin J. Flannelly

An online survey was conducted by twelve professional chaplain organizations to assess chaplains’ attitudes about and involvement in research. A total of 2,092 chaplains from 23 countries responded to the survey. Over 80% thought research was definitely important and nearly 70% thought chaplains should definitely be research literate. Just over 40% said they regularly read research articles and almost 60% said they occasionally did. The respondents rated their own research literacy as 6.5 on a 0–10 scale. Significant positive inter-correlations were found among all four measures: importance of (a) research and (b) research literacy; (c) frequency of reading articles; and (d) research literacy rating. Approximately 35% were never involved, 37% had been involved, 17% were currently involved, and 11% expected to be involved in research. The last three groups were significantly more likely to think research and research literacy were important and to read research articles than chaplains who were never involved in research. Given chaplains’ interest in research, actions should be undertaken to facilitate further research engagement.

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Related Publications

Age Differences in the Effects of Self-Esteem: The Link Between Physical Symptoms and Daily Affect
Helena Chui and Manfred Diehl

This study examined the link between physical symptoms, affect, and self-esteem in everyday life across adulthood. The sample consisted of young, middle-aged, and older adults. Results indicated a significant Self-Esteem × Physical Symptoms interaction on positive affect (PA). The effect of self-esteem on PA was lower with increasing physical symptoms. For negative affect (NA), the Self-Esteem × Physical Symptoms × Age interaction was significant. In older adults, the effect of self-esteem on NA was lower with increasing physical symptoms. Thus, the effect of self-esteem ran opposite to the expected buffering effect. In addition, the age difference in the effect of self-esteem on NA presents potential challenges to the adaptive capacity of older adults in emotional well-being.

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