Dr Peter Kevern

Job Title and Responsibilities

Associate Professor in Values in Care

University:
Member of the University Research Development Committee
Member of the University Ethics Committee

Ethics Coordinator for Independent Peer Review

School:
School Ethics Lead

Other: 
Deputy Editor, Journal of New Writing in Health and Social Care
Award Leader, Doctorate in Professional Studies

About Me

My academic background is in Philosophical Theology and Religious Studies, and I came to Staffordshire University in 2010 teaching Theology to future Christian Ministers. I became involved in research and teaching in Health Sciences when, as a result of my own mother’s dementia, I started thinking and writing about the philosophical and religious issues raised as her condition progressed.

As well as continuing to work on the relationship between religion and dementia, I am now working on a range of projects which concern human spirituality, the interface between religion and health, ageing and/or death. I am particularly interested in the potential role of religious communities in helping to deliver public health gains.

More generally, I believe that a concern for ‘wellbeing’ requires us to wrestle with questions about meaning, value, identity and belonging as well as being concerned for physical health.  I am passionate about bringing together statutory providers, businesses, third sector organisations, and religious and faith communities to work together on shared goals. Therefore, in addition to my university duties, I seek to develop links with a wide range of potential collaborators in the UK and internationally in order to build a richer discourse on health and wellbeing.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (UEA 1980)

BD  Distinction (Birmingham 1996)

PhD (Birmingham 1999)

PGCertFHE (Gloucestershire 2001)

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • British Association for the Study of Spirituality

  • Trustee of Age Concern (Birmingham)

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • External Examiner for Research degrees, University of Bedfordshire

  • External Examiner for the Doctor of Ministry, Durham University

  • Honorary Research Fellow with the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham

Expertise

  • Religious communities and their role in health promotion

  • Spiritual care and spiritual assessment, particularly in relation to End of Life Care

  • Ageing and religion

  • Dementia studies

  • Cognitive psychology of religious coping

  • Evolutionary psychology of religion

Enterprise and Commercial Activities

I am currently developing collaborative work with:

  • Methodist Homes (MHA), evaluating and developing their Chaplaincy provision
  • Caritas Social Action network (CSAN), developing a parish-based, extended elderly care network
  • A consortium of European FE providers, developing a process for training and accrediting family carers of elderly people (ELDICARE)

Research Interests

These have developed organically out of my focal interests in religion and dementia. I am currently ‘research-active’ in the following areas:

  • Dementia and spirituality/religion

  • Conversations about death and dying

  • Religious communities as resources for public health

  • Ageing and religion

  • Primary Care Chaplaincy

  • Modelling a spirituality for people of no religion based upon insights from social and evolutionary psychology.

Current and recent research projects include

2018  Second-stage evaluation of a pilot project offering home-based support for isolated older people, leading to theological research on Catholic Social Teaching on Ageing (£9600)

2017 Bristol Care Homes (Quarry House). Evaluation of dementia care provision (£6600)

2015-16 HEIF-COMPACS project: pilot project to profile the market and test a model for a unified digital platform for the offering, selection and evaluation of health and social care services at home (HEIF internal funding, £4000).

2015-16   Project in collaboration with Age Concern Birmingham to develop, run and evaluate a set of cafe-style events to discuss death, dying and funerals (funded by Esme Fairbairn Trust, total value £30000)

2013-2015 Collaborating with 5 agencies in 5 other EU countries on a Grundtvig-funded programme, ‘Processes for Empowering Older People in Care Settings (PEP)’. (value to University, €20000)

2014 Consultancy with a group of private residential care homes, (Bristol Care Homes) to develop their dementia care facilities and service: £6000

2013-2014 University lead on an evaluation and development project with a group of Primary Care providers who have piloted the use of Chaplains in primary care. Funding from CCG: £55000

2013-2014 Working with the Anglican Diocese of Lichfield and the Archbishop’s Council on the ‘GraveTalk Pilot’,  a programme of ‘conversations on death and dying’ for pilot initially in one diocese, then to be rolled out nationally. Initial funding to university: £7500

2011-2014 University lead for the STAR consortium, an EU-funded collaboration developing online dementia training for carers of people with dementia in 6 nations (http://startraining.eu  )

Selected Publications

Kevern, P (2018) Chapter on ‘Religion, Ageing and Equality’ for Westwood, S (ed) Ageing and Diversity: Equality perspectives. London: Routledge (in press)

Kevern, P (2018) Chapter on ‘Spirituality and Dementia’ for Zsolnai, L and Flanagan, B (eds), Handbook of Spirituality and Society, London: Palgrave (in press)

Kevern, P (2017) Is there a ‘spirituality across faiths’? Insights from evolutionary and developmental science Interreligious Insight 15(2) 30-39

Edwards, M and Kevern, P (2016) The role and impact of Recommendations from NHS inquiries: a critical discourse analysis New Writing in Health and Social Care  2(2) 1-11

Kevern, P (2016) Spiritual Care as a response to an exaptation: how evolutionary psychology informs the debate. Nursing Philosophy 18 (2)

McSherry, W; Boughey, A; and Kevern, P (2016) Chaplains for wellbeing in primary care: A qualitative investigation of their perceived impact for patients’ health and wellbeing. Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy 22(4) 151-170

Kevern, P and McSherry, W (2015) Chapter 3: ‘The Study of Chaplaincy: methods and materials’ in Christopher Swift, Mark Cobb and Andrew Todd (ed) Handbook of Chaplaincy Studies: understanding spiritual care in public places London: Ashgate

Kevern, P and Ladbury, I (2015) The resource implications of the Sandwell 'Chaplains for Wellbeing' service: a data analysis. New Writing in Health and Social Care 2(1) 47-54

Kevern, P. (2015). The spirituality of people with late-stage dementia: a review of the research literature, a critical analysis and some implications for person-centred spirituality and dementia care. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 18(9), 765-776.

Bolstridge, F and Kevern, P (2015) Who chooses ‘Choose and Book’ for Orthopaedic referrals? Analysis of data from one GP practice. New Writing in Health and Social Care 1:2, 1-8

Kevern, P and Sanders, J (2015) ‘Death-confident congregations’? Lessons from the GraveTalk Pilot. New Writing in Health and Social Care 1:2, 21-30

Lewinson, L, Kevern, P and McSherry, W (2015) Spirituality in pre-registration nurse education and practice: A literature review Nurse Education Today 35(6), 806-814

Kevern, P and Hill, L (2014) ‘Chaplains for Wellbeing’ in Primary Care: results of a retrospective study. Primary Healthcare Research and Development  16 (1) 87-99.

Regan, J.L.; Bhattacharyya, S.; Kevern, P. & Rana, T. (2013) A Systematic Review of Religion and Pathways to Dementia Care in Black and Minority Ethnic Populations. Journal of Mental Health, Religion and Culture 16 (1), 1-15

Kevern, P and Walker, M (2013) Religious Communities: what can they offer? Journal of Dementia Care 21(4) 26-28

Kevern, P (2013) Can Cognitive Science Rescue Spiritual Care from a Metaphysical Backwater? An Argument for More Theory Journal for the Study of Spirituality 3(1) 8-17

Walsh, J., Kevern, P., & McSherry, W. (2013). The representation of service users’ religious and spiritual concerns in care plans. Journal of Public Mental Health, 12(3), 153-164.

Barber, C, and Kevern, P (2012) Spirituality and the needs of those with Autistic Spectrum Conditions: some implications for ‘Spiritual Care’ policies Journal for the Study of Spirituality 1(2) 203-14

Kevern, P (2012a) Who can give spiritual care? A consideration of the ethics of discussing spiritual values with patients. Journal of Nursing Management 20(8):981-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01428.x. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Kevern, P (2012b) Community without memory. In search of an ecclesiology of liberation in the company of people with dementia International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 12(1) 44-54

Kevern, P (2012c) In search of a theoretical basis for understanding religious coping: initial testing of an explanatory model Journal of Mental Health, Religion and Culture 15(1) 23-37

Kevern, P (2011) “I pray that I will not fall over the edge” What is left of faith after dementia? Practical Theology 4(3) 283-94

Kevern, P (2010a) What sort of God is to be found in dementia? A survey of theological responses and an agenda for their development Theology CXVIII (873) 174-82

Kevern, P (2010b) Can reductionists be chaplains too? Reflections on the emptiness of ‘spirituality’ Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy 13(2) 2-6

Kevern, P (2010c) Sharing the mind of Christ: preliminary thoughts on dementia and the cross New Blackfriars 91(1034) 408-22

Kevern, P (2010d) Alzheimer’s and the dementia of God International Journal of Public Theology 4(2) 237-53

Kevern, P (2009) The grace of foolishness: what dementing Christians bring to the churches Practical Theology 2(2) 205-18

Current Teaching

Undergraduate

Contemporary issues in Health and Social Care; individual sessions for a range of modules

Postgraduate

Master’s Dissertation; Thesis component of the Doctorate in Professional Studies; PhD supervision

Contact

Dr Peter Kevern
Staffordshire University
School of Health Sciences
Staffordshire University
Blackheath Lane
Stafford
ST18 0YB
t: +44 (0)1785 353762
e: p.kevern@staffs.ac.uk