Research and Policy

Spiritual Health Association's current strategic plan aims to co-design and test an agreed and consistent model for spiritual care that is safe, high-quality and person-centred care. The following research and policy initiatives will inform this direction.


Poster series -

Spiritual Care: Relevant and responsive in times of crisis.

Who are spiritual care practitioners and what do they do?

SHA has produced two new evidence-based infographic posters for spiritual care teams to use during 2022 international Spiritual Care Week (SCW) and beyond.

The first responds to the SCW theme Spiritual Care: Relevant and Responsive in Times of Crises and the second profiles the role of spiritual care practitioners in health care.

Using both international and our own research, these resources demonstrate the role and benefits of spiritual care for target audiences including health care workers, patients, and families. 

Click to download the free infographic posters:  A4 and A3

Printed copies are available to purchase via our Shop

View the reference list for each poster.

Poster series - 

What is spirituality? What is spiritual care?

In 2021, SHA 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 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 in our Shop.


The Future of Spiritual Care in Australia report

In 2021, Spiritual Health Association engaged research and communications specialists McCrindle to conduct Australian research into how Australians communicate about spirituality, their experiences of spiritual care and their thoughts about spiritual care in health. 

McCrindle have conducted faith and belief studies in Australia and New Zealand. Their understanding of global trends and specialisation in spirituality research has informed the delivery of data-driven insights and key recommendations for SHA. 

Key to this research is understanding the role of care in the hospitals of the future, knowing what planning and training is required for the future workforce and the overall benefits of spirituality to individuals, societies and organisations.

McCrindle conducted four focus groups and an Australia-wide survey with 2,501 respondents as part of this research.

Download the report: The Future of Spiritual Care in Australia: A national study on spirituality, wellbeing and spiritual care in hospitals

"Considering people search for and turn to spirituality in times of crisis, it is clear spiritual care is paramount to healthcare, providing an opportunity to humanise medicine"

- Mark McCrindle, Principal, McCrindle Research

Literature review - Spiritual care in healthcare: elements of best practice

In early 2022, Spiritual Health Association collaborated with Spiritual Care in Aotearoa New Zealand Healthcare Co-design Rōpū to conduct a scoping literature review to understand the best practice models of spiritual care within healthcare settings. 

This report assembles the latest evidence of the components, elements, and characteristics that indicate a quality model of spiritual care within healthcare settings. A set of comprehensive data from peer-reviewed and grey literature between 2015 to 2022 from 18 countries have been reviewed. The aim of this literature review is the establishment of an evidence base for the co-design of a consistent model for spiritual care service and governance within Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand hospitals.

Download the literature review: Spiritual care in healthcare - elements of best practice: a scoping review of the literature.

Click here to learn more about SHA's Spiritual Care Model co-design project.


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.