A systematic review on chaplains and community-based clergy in three palliative care journals: 1990-1999.

Document Type


Publication Date



A systematic review of all articles appearing between 1990 and 1999 in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, the Hospice Journal, and the Journal of Palliative Care was conducted. Articles citing at least one reference were categorized as scholarly, included in the study, and divided into either research or nonresearch categories. Scholarly articles were classified as research if they contained clearly defined methods and results sections, even if these headings were not used. Research and nonresearch articles were subdivided into qualitative and quantitative research and general reviews or program descriptions, respectively. All scholarly articles were read to see if they mentioned clergy, including the terms rabbi, priest, minister, pastor, imam, chaplain, or other religious professionals. Of 838 scholarly articles published between 1990 and 1999 in the three journals, 348 (41.5 percent) were research articles, 417 (49.8 percent) were reviews, and 73 (8.7 percent) were program descriptions. Forty-seven (5.6 percent) of all 838 scholarly articles mentioned clergy or chaplains in some way. Clergy and chaplains were more likely to be an integral part of research articles, whereas mention of them in nonresearch articles tended to be incidental (chi-square = 16.8, p < .001). Moreover, quantitative articles were more likely to include clergy as an integral aspect of the article than were qualitative articles (Fischer's exact probability test, p = .088). The results are discussed with respect to the mutual roles hospice chaplains and community-based clergy play in providing spiritual care at the end of life.

Publication Title

The American journal of hospice & palliative care







First Page


Last Page