Select a patient, a family member, or a friend to interview. Be sure to focus on the
interviewee’s experience as a patient, regardless of whom you choose to interview.
Review The Joint Commission resource which provides some guidelines for creating
spiritual assessment tools for evaluating the spiritual needs of patients. Using this
resource and any other guidelines/examples that you can find, create your own tool for
assessing the spiritual needs of patients.
Create a survey to assess the subject’s spiritual need during the interview. The spiritual
needs assessment survey needs a minimum of five questions that can be answered
during the interview. During the interview, document the interviewee’s responses.
Submit the transcript of the interview. The transcript should include the questions
asked and the answers provided. Be sure record the responses during the interview by
taking detailed notes. Omit specific names and other personal information from the
Part II: Analysis
Write a 250-500 word analysis of your interview experience. Be sure to exclude specific
names and other personal information from the interview. Instead provide
demographics such as sex, age, ethnicity, and religion. Include the following in your
- What went well?
- What would you do differently in the future?
- Were there any barriers or challenges that inhibited your ability to complete the
assessment tool? How would you address these in the future or change your assessment
to better address these challenges?
- Describe the spiritual experience you had with your patient, family member, or friend
using this tool. How does this tool allow you to better meet the needs of your patient?
- Did you discover that illness and stress amplified the spiritual concern and needs of
your interviewee? Explain your answer with examples.
Part 1: Spiritual assessment Interview questions
Q 1. What strengthens/ comforts you?
Patients sources of strength is the Holy Trinity, i.e. God the father, the son and Holy Spirit
Q2. Are you active in any religious activities? What is your role in these activities?
The patient states that she is the secretary of women’s union movement in her parish. The
organization main role is to spread the Gospel to the vulnerable group in the society. She says
that working together with other women is fulfilling and through this interaction, her faith is
Q.3. What component of your spirituality are important to you?
The patient believes in fasting and prayers. She says that each time she prays about a
situation, God answers her prayers according to His will. She says prayers and fasting brings
her closer to God.
Q.4 Does your religion values conflicts with your healthcare?
The patient says that her religious value does not conflict with the medical care. While she
has issues with stem cell research, euthanasia and abortion perspectives of healthcare; she
always seeks medication when she gets ill. She believes that God has given the physicians the
gift of treating people and they must utilize it. Failure to which, they will be punished. “We
are God’s servants, I am sick because I refused to go for a mission, to spread his words.”
Q.5 What do you do when ill or feel like you are depressed?
The patient believes that speaking to her pastor always help as he encourages her using some
Bible verses, which strengthens and encourages her.
Part II: Analysis
This assessment was conducted at the healthcare facility. The participant is a client of 45
years old African American female, who presented to the hospital with complaints of chest
pains and shortness of breath. This assessment is important as it integrates spirituality in
healing, thereby developing a holistic healing environment.
The patient is married and lives with her two daughters (age 18 and 16years) and her
husband in a nearby suburb. The patient is very religious and from the assessment, it is
evident that she actively participates in church activities. The interview flow was smooth due
to good interpersonal communication skills. However, the patient expressed her thoughts
symbolically and would make references to the scriptures describing her values and believes.
The symbolic answers were explored further using open ended questions in order to avoid
misunderstanding of the patient’s religion beliefs (Russell, 2013).
The main barriers experienced during this interview were inadequate time, which made it
difficult to enquire more about the patient spirituality. I also realized that my approach
towards her beliefs was invasive and opinionated; which seemed to bother the patient. This is
a weakness that needs to be improved through additional training and practice. This can be
attributed to the organization culture that fails to integrate the concept of spirituality in
healing. Following this course, I now understand the value of spirituality in establishing a
healing environment. I intend to integrate patient’s spiritual beliefs in my future practice in
order to promote holistic care (Gallison, Xu, Jurgens, and Boyle, 2013).
This exercise improved my nursing knowledge, particularly in when confronted by ethical
dilemmas associated with patient’s beliefs. Using the HOPE spiritual assessment tool
(Probst, 2014), I managed to create a mutual relationship with my patient; who made it easy
for the patient to express their views and thoughts regarding her ailment. For instance, the
patient believed that she became sick for refusing to do God’s work (not going for a three day
mission). This explains the high level of anxiety which was managed through laying of
hands by her pastor.
Gallison BS , Xu Y , Jurgens CY , Boyle SM . (2013).Acute care nurses’ spiritual care practices.
J Holist Nurs. ;31(2):95-103.
Probst, J. (2014). Health Care Providers In Rural America. Health Affairs, 33(2), 346-346.
Russell, P. (2013). The Essential Guide to Religious Traditions and Spirituality for Health
Care ProvidersThe Essential Guide to Religious Traditions and Spirituality for Health
Care Providers. Nursing Older People, 25(6), 8-8.