What do spiritual needs, health care, pastoral services, religious resources, statistics, and quantitative research methods have in common? Traditional literature in the pastoral care, counseling, and education movement probably would say, "Not a great deal." Indeed, the pastoral arts and sciences have tended to be high on art (especially praxis) but relatively low on science (especially quantitative research).
That's too bad, claims Dr. Larry VandeCreek, who has gathered together a sample of previously published but widely scattered research reports which he hopes will inform hospital chaplains, congregational pastors, hospital personnel, and theological students on ways in which knowledge gained from carefully designed research can enhance their project of care.
Selecting only quantitative research reports, the volume explores such topics as the role of spirituality in terminally ill hospitalized patients, the demonstrated helpfulness of prayer in health crisis, the possible impact of hope among women with breast cancer, the role and impact of chaplaincy services in general hospitals, as well as other studies demonstrating a variety of relationships between spirituality and health care.