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'Chaplains for well-being' in primary care: analysis of the results of a retrospective study.

Abstract

AIM

To analyse quantitative changes in patient well-being concurrent with chaplaincy interventions in a retrospective study of a group of Primary Care centres in Sandwell and West Birmingham, United Kingdom.

BACKGROUND

Anecdotal evidence suggests that support from trained Primary Care Chaplains may be particularly useful for those with subclinical mental health issues; it can reduce the tendency to 'medicalise unhappiness' and is a positive response to patients with medically unexplained symptoms. However, to date there has been no published research attempting to quantify their contribution.

METHOD

Data were gathered from a group of Primary Care Centres, which make use of a shared Chaplaincy service. Demographic data and pre-post scores on the Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) were collected for patients who had attended consultations with a Chaplain. These were subjected to tests of statistical significance to evaluate the possible contribution of chaplaincy to patient well-being along with possible confounding variables.

FINDINGS

a substantial improvement in WEMWBS scores (mean=9 points, BCa 95% CI [7.23, 10.79], P=0.001) post-intervention. The improvement in scores was highest for those with initially lower levels of well-being. There is therefore evidence that chaplaincy interventions correlate with an improvement of holistic well-being as measured by a WEMWBS score. A prospective study on a larger scale would provide more detailed information on the interaction of possible variables. Further study is also required to evaluate the implications of this result for patient outcomes and GP resources. The efficacy of Primary Care Chaplaincy is under-researched and difficult to measure. This paper represents the first attempt to quantify a measurable improvement in the well-being of patients who are referred to the service.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    1Senior Lecturer,Faculty of Health Sciences,Staffordshire University,Stafford,UK.

    2Senior Commissioning Manager,Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG,Stafford,UK.

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Clergy
    Counseling
    Employment
    Ethnic Groups
    Female
    Great Britain
    Humans
    Male
    Mental Disorders
    Mental Health
    Middle Aged
    Primary Health Care
    Religion and Psychology
    Retrospective Studies
    Sex Distribution
    Surveys and Questionnaires
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    24451684

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - 'Chaplains for well-being' in primary care: analysis of the results of a retrospective study. AU - Kevern,Peter, AU - Hill,Lisa, Y1 - 2014/01/22/ PY - 2014/1/22/aheadofprint PY - 2014/1/24/entrez PY - 2014/1/24/pubmed PY - 2016/5/12/medline SP - 87 EP - 99 JF - Primary health care research & development JO - Prim Health Care Res Dev VL - 16 IS - 1 N2 - AIM: To analyse quantitative changes in patient well-being concurrent with chaplaincy interventions in a retrospective study of a group of Primary Care centres in Sandwell and West Birmingham, United Kingdom. BACKGROUND: Anecdotal evidence suggests that support from trained Primary Care Chaplains may be particularly useful for those with subclinical mental health issues; it can reduce the tendency to 'medicalise unhappiness' and is a positive response to patients with medically unexplained symptoms. However, to date there has been no published research attempting to quantify their contribution. METHOD: Data were gathered from a group of Primary Care Centres, which make use of a shared Chaplaincy service. Demographic data and pre-post scores on the Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) were collected for patients who had attended consultations with a Chaplain. These were subjected to tests of statistical significance to evaluate the possible contribution of chaplaincy to patient well-being along with possible confounding variables. FINDINGS: a substantial improvement in WEMWBS scores (mean=9 points, BCa 95% CI [7.23, 10.79], P=0.001) post-intervention. The improvement in scores was highest for those with initially lower levels of well-being. There is therefore evidence that chaplaincy interventions correlate with an improvement of holistic well-being as measured by a WEMWBS score. A prospective study on a larger scale would provide more detailed information on the interaction of possible variables. Further study is also required to evaluate the implications of this result for patient outcomes and GP resources. The efficacy of Primary Care Chaplaincy is under-researched and difficult to measure. This paper represents the first attempt to quantify a measurable improvement in the well-being of patients who are referred to the service. SN - 1477-1128 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24451684/'Chaplains_for_well_being'_in_primary_care:_analysis_of_the_results_of_a_retrospective_study_ L2 - http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1463423613000492 ER -