Rural Health and Spiritual Care Development: A Review of Programs across Rural Victoria, Australia Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Given declining populations in rural areas and diminishing traditional religious support, this research explores whether spiritual care education programs would be beneficial for and appreciated by those working in rural health and/or community organizations. An overview of literature identified three dominant rural health issues affecting the provision of spiritual care in rural areas, namely the disparity between rural and urban areas in terms of resources, the lack of access to services, plus the need for education and training within rural areas. Spiritual Health Victoria Incorporated (Victoria, Australia) sought to address these issues with the implementation of a variety of spiritual education programs within rural areas. Results of an evaluation of these programs are presented specifying participant demographics, reasons why participants attended, their evaluation of the program and any recommendations for future programs. In overall terms, the results indicated that at least 90% of participants favorably rated their attended program as either 'very good' or 'good' and indicated that the main reason for their attendance was to develop their own education and/or practice of spiritual care within their rural context for the benefit of local constituents. Several recommendations are made for future programs.

publication date

  • 2016