Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 676–692 | Cite as

Religion, Health and Confidentiality: An Exploratory Review of the Role of Chaplains

  • Lindsay B. CareyEmail author
  • Mark A. Willis
  • Lillian Krikheli
  • Annette O’Brien
Original Paper


Chaplaincy has traditionally been considered a profession highly respectful of confidentiality. Nevertheless, given increasing professional collaboration within health and welfare contexts, plus the requirements of intervention reporting and the ease of technological data sharing, it is possible that confidentiality may be sacrificed for the sake of expediency. This exploratory review considers the literature relating to the role of chaplaincy and confidentiality that suggests a number of principles which should be considered by chaplaincy associations/organizations to ensure appropriate professional practice and the holistic health and well-being of patients/clients. Recommendations are made for the development of specific policies and procedures, confidentiality training programs and further research for developing universal protocols relating to chaplains and their handling of confidential information.


Chaplains Chaplaincy Confidentiality Privacy 



Appreciation is acknowledged to Ms. Kylie Breheny for her supportive contribution to this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay B. Carey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark A. Willis
    • 2
  • Lillian Krikheli
    • 1
  • Annette O’Brien
    • 3
  1. 1.Palliative Care Unit, School of Public HealthLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Royal Australian Air Force Chaplaincy BranchDepartment of DefenceCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty Librarian, La Trobe Rural Health SchoolLa Trobe UniversityBendigoAustralia

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