Research Priorities for Health Care Chaplaincy in the Netherlands: A Delphi Study Among Dutch Chaplains

For which topic were research priorities identified?

healthcare chaplaincy

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Netherlands

Why was it conducted at all?

Chaplaincy leaders worldwide emphasize the need for chaplaincy research and invite chaplains to become research literate (Fitchett, 2002; Handzo, Cobb, Holmes, Kelly, & Sinclair, 2014; Morgan, 2015; Mowat, 2008; Myers & Roberts (eds.), 2014; Weaver, Flannelly, & Liu, 2008). In Europe, the European Network of Healthcare Chaplaincy (ENHCC) underlined research as an integral part of chaplaincy in the Salzburg Statement, proposing that some chaplains lead the research agenda to ensure that high quality research is conducted into healthcare chaplaincy outcomes” (2014, p. 1). In accordance with this statement, chaplaincy leaders in The Netherlands have stressed the need to carry out chaplaincy research.

What was the objective?

to identify research priorities for health care chaplaincy in the Netherlands according to practicing chaplains and chaplaincy leaders

What was the outcome?

a list of 5 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to identify at least 3 and at most 10 research priorities for chaplaincy for the coming 10 years by answering the question: "Which chaplaincy studies do you prefer to be conducted within the next 10 years? Please specify at least 3 priorities and write your answers down in order of priority.", question was followed by 23 statements about chaplaincy research areas that participants could rate. Step 2: data processing: content analysis. Step 3: Delphi round 2: survey developed on the basis of themes and subthemes of the final codebook, participants were asked to rate from three different perspectives: research priority from the perspective of patients/clients, the organization, and the profession.

Which stakeholders took part?

Chaplains. Delphi round 1: 249 participants. Delphi round 2: 179 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Invitation to participate in the study was sent via e-mail by the Dutch Association of Spiritual Caregivers to chaplains. An invitation was also sent to the educators of Chaplaincy Master's degree programs and the network of independent chaplain practitioners.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.