Patient reported outcomes in spiritual care

Dr Heather Tan1

1Spiritual Health Victoria, ,

Aim of study:  To investigate patient reported outcomes of spiritual care for those admitted as inpatients in five general hospitals across five states of Australia

Method: The study utilised the Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) developed by National Health Service in UK and verified and utilised both internationally and within Australia.  Five hospitals participated – 2 large, public general hospitals in Victoria, 1 small private hospital in Victoria, 2 large general metropolitan hospitals in South Australia.

Following multi-site and local human research ethics approvals questionnaires were posted out to eligible discharged patients with reply paid envelops included.

Results: Both individual reports for each site and a report of overall collated data will be finalise for publication. These are currently in process.  Data has revealed information about who provided spiritual care, if that has improved patient reported outcomes and what improvements can be made in the service offered at each site. Detailed analysis will be available for the conference.

Recommendations: These will be available for each individual site leading to possible another phase of the project which addresses a specific area of care.  Overall recommendations will also be published and collated data will be added to an international data base already established for data collected using the above tool so adding to the evidence base for the provision of spiritual care in the health care service.


Dr Heather Tan PhD; M.Grief & P.C.Couns; BSc; Grad Dip Ed; CPE

Heather has a background in education, research, pastoral care and counselling with a particular focus on palliative care. She has experience in tertiary education including at the post graduate level in the areas of loss, grief and bereavement, spiritual care, issues in death and dying, communication skills, research methods. She has been involved in research and publications in the areas of spiritual care, grief and bereavement, psychosocial and spiritual issues in palliative care and research literacy.

Her role at Spiritual Health Victoria as the Manager of Education and Research has included teaching into tertiary programs in pastoral care, educating about and facilitating research in the sector directed to developing an understanding of patient experience of spiritual care and an evidence base for best practice.

NAHC Conferences

2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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