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Spiritual Health Association and Meaningful Ageing Australia are delighted to present the 3rd annual spiritual care research intensive. This year we are using a new two part, on-line format. There will be opportunities for discussion as well as hearing some great content.

For spiritual care practitioners and colleagues interested in evidence-based practice from all sectors: health, aged care, community services, education, disability services, emergency services, defence, and more!


Part One: Turning your work into research (2-4pm 27 July)

Dr Megan Best (University of Notre Dame)

Clinician to researcher in palliative care

Have you ever had an experience at work that got you thinking, wondering why things went the way they did? Why people respond the way they do? Perhaps you have come across a problem that doesn’t seem to have an answer, but you want to find a way to help. If so, maybe you are someone who would enjoy research. In this session I will talk about how my attention was caught by the problems confronting my palliative care patients, and the road I took to become a researcher in spiritual care.


Dr Richard Egan (University of Otago)

How has it worked in New Zealand?

Working in the area of spiritual care is full of joy and challenges. The work itself, like each person’s spirituality, is unique. But most challenging can be the systems in which we work – whether it is a healthcare system, a university, a school or prison. These institutions largely do not (or barely) acknowledge the place of spirituality – just look at the budget for spiritual care!

This interactive talk will consider the story of my research career through particular spirituality research projects and papers. For example, my Masters thesis looked at spirituality in New Zealand State education. In public health and health promotion studies I have explored the question about the place of spirituality upstream, at a community and policy level. My PhD work considered how well spiritual care happens in New Zealand’s end-of-life environment. Inevitably it is both a personal and professional narrative, telling the story of struggle to get spirituality on the research and health agendas. It is a story of tensions between: medical and holistic narratives; between hard science and wider conceptions of science and knowledge; between worldviews; between ethnicities; and ultimately challenging these binary positions, moving towards integration.

Read more or register for part 1 here


Part Two: Research in a practice context (2.30-4.30pm 10 August)

Dr Kate Jones (University of Notre Dame)

Development and evaluation of a spiritual care training program in neurorehabilitation

Dr Kate Jones will reflect upon a 10 year process of integrating spiritual care into a rehabilitation unit in Sydney. She will describe how her clinical experience as a social worker, patient stories, research findings from her PhD, and partnership with the multidisciplinary team brought about the development of a spiritual care training program for staff. Kate’s presentation will include some of the highlights of this training, including videos from former clients, a spiritual care training tool, and staff evaluation.

Jane Monk (St George’s Health Service)

Is there a correlation between the provision of pastoral care and the administration of PRN medication in a psych geriatric residential facility?

Some nurses at a Psych Geriatric residential facility commented to their manager that they thought they were administering less PRN (as needed) psychotropic medication on the days when Pastoral Care was being provided. Jane said “That’s worth some research!” This presentation details Jane’s research, and some narratives and questions that emerge. The workshop will be of interest to those considering undertaking workplace based research, as well as those who are interested in exploring the possibilities of research in relation to promoting greater understanding of pastoral care.

Read more or register for part 2 here