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Examining Factors Associated with Utilization of Chaplains in the Acute Care Setting


Hospitalized persons want their spiritual needs addressed and discussed by the healthcare team, but medical providers and nurses lack the necessary training. Patients want chaplaincy care, but very few receive it, and little is known about utilization factors. To identify the population characteristics associated with the utilization of chaplaincy services, hospitalization data from March 2012 to July 2017 were analyzed (N = 15,242 patients). Religiously affiliated individuals and those with the most acute health needs were more likely to receive chaplaincy care and received more total care. Patient-centered healthcare models may need to evaluate strategic integration of spiritual care beyond reactive spiritual care provision.

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adapted from Aday & Andersen, 1974)

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All authors contributed to the study’s conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by KW, JJ, SK, and GF. The first draft of the manuscript was written by KW and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Kelsey White.

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Appendix: Supplemental Table 1

Appendix: Supplemental Table 1

Variable Source
Predisposing Age EMR
  Sex EMR
  Ethnicity HCAHPS
  Language HCAHPS
  Religious affiliation EMR
Enabling Education HCAHPS
Need Self-reported health HCAHPS
  Self-reported mental health HCAHPS
  Length of stay EMR
  Multiple diagnostic categories EMR
Control ED admission HCAHPS
  Admit date EMR
Dependent variables Chaplain visit EMR
  Time with chaplain EMR

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White, K., Jennings, J.C., Karimi, S. et al. Examining Factors Associated with Utilization of Chaplains in the Acute Care Setting. J Relig Health 61, 1095–1119 (2022).

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  • Patient-centered
  • Hurdle models
  • Spiritual care
  • Chaplain