Professorship of Spiritual Care and Psychosomatic Health

Spirituality (from the Latin “spiritus” meaning soul, breath, wind) is used in health sciences as a broad-based, interdenominational and interfaith concept.

Prof. Eckhard Frick SJ

Eckhard Frick has researched and taught on the subject of spiritual care for many years. He is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and Jesuit. Since 2021, he has served as professor of Spiritual Care and Psychosomatic Health.



Research projects

Needs and Requirements of Care-Providing Relatives

People who provide nursing care for relatives often carry a heavy burden, yet rarely make use of relief services. This raises the question: what are the support needs of care-providing relatives? We are investigating this in a joint project with Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. Our research assistant Jenny Kubitza (MSc) is conducting qualitative interviews with care-providing relatives as part of a related longitudinal study.



The Final Stage of Life of the Elderly Religious

Our research assistant Dr. Ruth Mächler is examining how elderly religious handle the final stage of their life. She has conducted 21 narrative interviews with Sacré-Coeur nuns and Jesuits over 80 years old in Germany and Austria. One of the study’s aims is to provide feedback for these orders. How are the elderly religious faring? And what can be done to improve their wellbeing and the wellbeing of subsequent cohorts?



Staff working in intensive-care and emergency medicine are regularly confronted with moral distress. This occurs when framework conditions prevent a person from acting in accordance with their own moral beliefs. In the multicentric study ‘Moral Distress in Intensive-Care and Emergency Medicine and Spiritual Resources’ (MD_INSpir), we are investigating the extent to which spirituality can serve as a resource for handling moral conflicts.

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To what extent can measures to promote self-efficacy in general practitioners’ surgeries improve the care of chronically ill patients? This is the focus of ‘Holistic Care Programme for Elderly Patients to Integrate Spiritual Needs, Social Activity, and Self-Care into Disease Management in Primary Care’ (HoPES3), a joint research project conducted with Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg and Universitätsklinikum Tübingen.


Publications in English

  • Moll, Tobias (2022): Exploring aspects of New Work : Spirituality at Work in agile organizations. In: Spiritual Care (in press). DOI: 10.1515/spircare-2021-0017.

  • Sohail, Malik Muhammad; Frick, Eckhard; Büssing, Arndt (2022): Spiritual care competences among health care professionals in Pakistan: Findings from a cross-cectional curvey. In: Religions 13 (4), 370. DOI: 10.3390/rel13040370.

  • Sturm, Noemi; Krisam, Johannes; Szecsenyi, Joachim; Bentner, Martina; Frick, Eckhard; Mächler, Ruth et al. (2022): Spirituality, self-care, and social activity in the primary medical care of elderly patients. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 119 (8), 124–131. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.m2022.0078.

  • Kunsmann-Leutiger, Elke; Straßner, Cornelia; Schalhorn, Friederike; Stolz, Regina; Stotz-Ingenlath, Gabriele; Buhlinger-Göpfarth, Nicola et al. (2021): Training general practitioners and medical assistants within the framework of HoPES3, a holistic care program for elderly patients to integrate spiritual needs, social activity, and self-care into disease management in primary care. In: JMDH 14, 1853–1861. DOI: 10.2147/JMDH.S312778.

  • Balboni, Michael J. (2020): Hostility to hospitality: Authors’ response. In: Spiritual Care 9 (2), 149–152. DOI: 10.1515/spircare-2020-0042.

  • Frick, Eckhard; Roser, Traugott (2018): "Struggles are not necessarily destructive or dangerous". In: Spiritual Care 7 (2), 215–218. DOI: 10.1515/spircare-2017-0055.


Josef and Luise Kraft Foundation

The Josef and Luise Kraft Foundation is a sponsor of the Chair. The topic of “healthy aging” creates strong scientific connections between the Chair and the Foundation. The Foundation’s purpose is to “support destitute elderly people worthy of assistance” and generally promote aid and care for the elderly.


My Home Life

The My Home Life program was launched in 2006 by the National Care Forum. This program, which has integrated scientific input from the outset, operates successfully in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Australia – and was also launched in Germany several years ago.



How can nursing and healthcare institutions integrate spiritual care as a resource? The MUTASPIR network, a project at Munich School of Philosophy, develops tailored organizational and staff development strategies to support the implementation of spiritual care in healthcare settings.