Research and Policy

SHA leads the advancement of research and policy impacting the spiritual care sector.

We do this through effective policy analysis, research, and strategic advice to grow knowledge and understanding of best practice spiritual care.

Poster series: What is spirituality? What is spiritual care?

SHA has produced two eye-catching infographic posters, aiming to introduce and demystify the role of spiritual care and its benefits to patients, family members and organisations. Using both international and our very own research, these resources demonstrate the role and benefits of spiritual care for target audiences including health care workers, patients, and families. 

Poster 1 addresses: What is spirituality? What is wellbeing? How does spirituality affect our wellbeing?  

Poster 2 addresses: What is spiritual care? Why is spiritual care important? What are the benefits of spiritual care?   

Click to download the infographic posters, as well as an infographic guide and PowerPoint presentation to help you make the most of the materials:

Posters: A4 and A3

Infographic Guide

PowerPoint Presentation

Hard copies are also available to purchase on our Resources page. 

Recent Research 

International Survey: The Impact of COVID19 on the Practice of Spiritual Care in the Health Care Service

In June 2020 SHA joined an international research group led by the European Research Institute for Chaplaincy and Healthcare (ERICH). The group inquired into the impact of COVID-19 on spiritual care, as well as particular themes including the impact in aged care, implications for future education and training and implications for models of care. 

The research was based on data collected in an international online survey, in which Australians featured significantly and made up 202 of the 1657 respondents. SHA contributed to this research and contributed the following articles through a special edition of the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counselling published in March 2021 and dedicated entirely to this work:


“Essential Not Optional”: Spiritual Care in Australia during a Pandemic

“We Need to Learn from What we Have Learned!”: The Possible Impact of Covid-19 on the Education and Training of Chaplains.

"The Most Effective Experience was a Flexible and Creative Attitude"— Reflections on Those Aspects of Spiritual Care that were Lost, Gained, or Deemed Ineffective during the Pandemic

Other projects

  •  Faith Community Research: Faith Affiliation and Preferences of Patients in Hospitals
  •  Investigating the provision of spiritual care in health care facilities from staff and patient perspectives — a joint research project with La Trobe University

To find our more about our research outputs, please review our Recent Publications

A large number of resources and journals exist on quality health research within the spiritual care sector. Get in touch with us for more information.


To promote policy initiatives and advocate for strategic change in spiritual care, we:

  •  Provide research translation to governments, regulators, businesses, and others to deliver meaningful outcomes for consumers
  •  Identify policy gaps in relation to spiritual care
  •  Identify and develop effective partnerships with key stakeholders
  •  Co-design research and policy responses and provide leadership, supervision and coordination
  •  Evaluate the effectiveness of strategies
  •  Represent the sector at relevant government forums as a key stakeholder and credible expert 
  •  Responding to calls for submissions

For more information contact Cuong La.