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“Chaplains for wellbeing” in Primary Care: analysis of the results of a retrospective study.

KEVERN, Peter and HILL, Lisa (2014) “Chaplains for wellbeing” in Primary Care: analysis of the results of a retrospective study. Primary Health Care Research & Development, Online. pp. 1-13. ISSN 1463-4236

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Abstract or description

Aim
To analyse quantitative changes in patient wellbeing 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 wellbeing along with possible confounding variables
Findings
A substantial improvement in WEMWBS scores (mean 9 points, BCa 95%CI[7.23, 10.79] p,.001) post-intervention. The improvement in scores was highest for those with initially lower levels of wellbeing.
There is therefore evidence that Chaplaincy interventions correlate with an improvement of holistic wellbeing 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 wellbeing of patients who are referred to the service.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: A100 Pre-clinical Medicine
A900 Others in Medicine and Dentistry
C800 Psychology
L300 Sociology
L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
V600 Theology and Religious studies
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Social Work, Allied and Public Health
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Depositing User: Peter KEVERN
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 11:58
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2014 11:58
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1941

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