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Spiritual Assessment

Investigate at least two different spiritual assessment tools and analyze the ease of use and
comprehensiveness of the data collected. Report on the validity and reliability of the tool.
Explain how the spiritual assessment would be used in a health assessment.
Write a 1,000-1,250-word paper on the items listed above. Include at least 4 professional
references excluding your texts.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines. An abstract is required.
Spiritual Assessment Tools Description– Thoroughly and comprehensively describes
selected spiritual assessment tools. Includes in-depth details. Presents rationale for
selection. Information and evidence are accurate, appropriate, and supported.
Analysis– Thoughtfully analyzes and evaluates major points of each tool’s ease of use and
comprehensiveness of data collected. Draws warranted, judicious, non-fallacious
conclusions. Information and evidence are accurate, appropriate.
Validity and Reliability–Thoroughly presents complete information of each tool’s validity
and reliability. Describes in-depth and with supporting evidence Draws warranted,
judicious, non-fallacious conclusions. Information and evidence are accurate, appropriate.
Explain How the Spiritual Assessment Would Be Used in a Health Assessment–
Thoroughly and comprehensively explains how the spiritual assessment would be used in a
health assessment. Provides supportive and thorough rationale.
Thesis Development and Purpose- Thesis and/or main claim are comprehensive. The
essence of the paper is contained within the thesis. Thesis statement makes the purpose of
the paper clear
Argument Logic and Construction– Clear and convincing argument presents a persuasive
claim in a distinctive and compelling manner. All sources are authoritative.

Spiritual Assessment

Spiritual assessment tools are approaches to improve medical care through incorporation
of patient’s spirituality and belief systems. HOPE questions focus on basic spiritual resources,

significance of spirituality, specific aspects of personal spirituality practices, and effects of
spirituality beliefs on health care and death-related issues. FICA questions focus on faith or
beliefs, information and influence, community, and address aspects to determine and incorporate
spirituality resources in medical care. Open-ended language, non-bias, and trust used and created
by these two spiritual assessment tools make them valid and reliable tools for acquiring
spirituality information from patients. In health care assessment they are significant in
prevention, treatment and adjuvant care of patients.

Over the years, studies done show that the relation between spirituality and medicine is
positively correlating with patient spirituality or religious beliefs having a positive impact on
health outcomes. Spiritual assessment tool is an approach used by physicians to inquire on a
patient’s spirituality and belief systems so as to incorporate them in medical care practice for
better health results.
Spiritual assessment tools require that aspect of spirituality instead of religion be focused
on to ensure that meaningful conversations are held as well as promote trust. Spirituality is
multidimensional and complex with experiential and behavioral aspects of human life.
Experiential and emotional concepts comprise feelings of connection, inner peace, love, hope,
support and comfort which reflect to an individual’s inner resources. Cognitive concepts focus
on search for meaning, purpose, and truth in life. Topic of spirituality is diverse with some
people finding spirituality through religion, connection to nature, music, arts, value systems,
principles or quest for scientific truth.

Analysis of HOPE Questions

The questions were developed as a teaching aid to medical students and practicing
medics to enable them incorporate spiritual assessment into medical interviews. They cover
fundamental areas of health inquiry under formal assessments.
H pertains to the basic spiritual resources of a patient like hope. These questions do not
directly focus on spirituality or religion hence enables useful and wide range of conversations
between patients and medics. They minimize bias since whether patients believe in a particular
traditional religion or not they get the opportunity to express themselves.
O and P questions focus on the significance of organized spirituality and religion to a
patient and the actual aspects of personal spiritual practices that mostly benefit him or her. These
questions are used to determine what aspects of spirituality an individual practices and whether
they strengthen, comfort or even given them hope to face life.
E deals with the effects of individual spirituality beliefs on health care and death issues.
Health officers are able to acquire information on common spiritual concerns and resources like
fear or conflicts between patient’s beliefs and medical situation at present. This kind of
information is necessary since it enables physicians align their medical care approaches to the
belief systems of patients for better health outcomes (Puchalski, 2006). Understanding the effect
of spirituality on death issues enables medical practitioners help patients deal with issues like
fear of death or pacification with their ending life. Their themes hence ensure that best care and
attention is accorded to dying patients by their physicians.

Analysis of FICA

FICA model, a popular acronym tool, has letters F representing faith or beliefs, I for
importance and influence, C for Community and A for Address.

Faith based questions include questions like: “What are your spiritual beliefs? Do you
consider yourself spiritual? What things do you believe in that give meaning to your life?” These
questions are aimed at inquiring what spiritual and belief systems that an individual has. This
will enable a medic to incorporate them in practice for better health results (Puchalski & Romer,
Importance and influence comprise asking questions such as: “Is faith or spirituality
important to you? How has your illness affected your personal practices?” These questions
require inquiring how patients regard spirituality so as to be able to determine if physicians
should apply those spiritual concepts in health care. If patients love nature walks or quiet time
then medics should ensure that they are incorporated in medical care.
Community questions inquire on the role of the community and society towards building
and strengthening spirituality and value systems of patients. This enable find out if there any
members of the community who support the patient and whether it is necessary to include them
in medical care of a patient for better and fast recovery (Puchalski & Romer, 2000). They include
questions like: “Are you connected to a faith center in the community? Does it provide support
for you during times of stress? Is there a person who supports you in your spirituality?”
Address questions enable physicians know how to support patient’s spiritual practices
through medical care. Here a direct relation is established between spirituality and medicine to
enable better health outcomes. Questions like: “What can I do for you? What support can health
care do to support your spiritual practices?” are asked (Puchalski, 2006).

Validity and reliability

HOPE questions are not validated by research but all relatively reliable in ensuring better
health results. This approach allows for open-ended exploration of patient’s general spiritual

beliefs, resources, and concerns. Its non-biased nature shown through the diversification and
generalization proves its reliability in acquiring relevant patient information to apply the best
spiritual resources for better health outcomes. This approach is also used as a natural follow-up
to discussing other spiritual support systems (Puchalski & Romer, 2000). The language it uses
which does not immediately focus on words like spirituality or religion minimizes language
barriers ensuring comprehensive information is gathered for reliable implementation.
According to research FICA questions are valid as spiritual assessment tools. Their open-
endedness when inquiring on spirituality minimizes bias and enables collection of diversified
information. Aspects of open-language and non-bias make them reliable in collecting relevant
information to ensure better and fast health outcomes. They also establish rapport and promote
trust between patient and physician hence enabling better health care provision (Mauk &
Schmidt, 2004).

Use in health assessment

There are situations where medical practitioners have little or nothing to offer patients
through medical solutions, care or pain relief. Therefore, therapeutic interventions offered
through their presence, understanding, acceptance, love, kindness, tolerance and compassion are
the only ways they can contribute to the health betterment of their patients. Spiritual concerns
and questions in a way significantly affect the quality and recovery of patients since they
promote relaxation curbing any pessimism.
Inclusion of spirituality in adjuvant care is vital when coupled with standard medical
treatment. Medics help patients identify and choose spiritually based measures like saying
prayers while taking medication, reading scriptures or listening to music prior or after surgery.

These approaches will enable patient recovery quickly since their mind, body, and soul have a
common desire and positive similar thoughts (Puchalski, 2006).
Spirituality can be incorporated into preventive health care whereby patients are assisted
in identifying and mobilizing their spiritual resources such as prayer, meditation, yoga, country
walks, and music among others to prevent some health conditions like depression, cardiac arrest,
and stress among others (Taylor, 2002).
Spiritual assessment also enables necessary modifications of treatment plans in diverse
patients. Understanding a patient’s spiritual needs and believes ensures that health officers
incorporate those beliefs in their medication to ensure that patients recover fast and easily.
Measures like meditation techniques, nature walks, and religious resources among others should
be included as part of a patient’s medication to ensure full recovery.



Taylor, E. J. (2002). Spiritual Care: Nursing Theory, Research, and Practice. Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Mauk, K., & Schmidt, N. (2004). Spiritual Care in Nursing Practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.
Puchalski, C., & Romer, A. L. (2000). Taking a spiritual history allows clinicians to understand
patients more fully. J Palliative Med., 3:129–37.
Puchalski, C. (2006). Spiritual Assessment in Clinical Practice. Psychiatric Annals, 36, 3;
Psychology Module pg. 152 (Ehman)

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