Unmet spiritual needs

The goal of this study is to ascertain the level of spiritual wellbeing and the prevalence of spiritual needs in a cohort of Peter Mac patients in order to gain an understanding of how the Peter Mac pastoral care service can develop, implement and evaluate effective and appropriate spiritual care services.

Cancer stream

  • Sarcoma
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Gynae-oncology
  • Colorectal
  • Haematology
  • Skin and melanoma
  • Breast
  • Head and neck
  • Lung
  • Paediatric
  • Urology
  • Upper gastrointestinal
  • Cancer of unknown primary

This project was undertaken in two stages:

Stage 1: A self-administered survey was used comprising three sections and a total of 35 questions to measure three domains of spirituality: (1) cognitive (the respondent’s spiritual beliefs and attitudes); (2) behavioural (the respondent’s participation in spiritual and religious services and involvement with community); and (3) affective (the respondent’s current state of spiritual wellbeing and spiritual need).

Stage 2: Semi-structured interviews were conducted to further investigate spirituality in cancer care. Given that the concept of spirituality is viewed in widely varied ways, patients were invited to contribute to a working definition of spirituality. Patients were asked to consider this concept of spirituality in relation to its importance in their own lives, the services that support or impede this kind of spiritual wellbeing at Peter Mac, and how they think that the hospital could improve this kind of care.

We are currently analysing the data and examining how this can better inform spiritual care services provided at Peter Mac.


Rev. David Dawes

Head of Pastoral Care

Email: [email protected]

Project group: 
Pastoral Care Research