Spiritual Assessment


Spiritual Assessment, Spirituality, Pastoral Care, Religion, Spiritual Therapy

  • Definitions
  1. Spirituality
    1. Feelings and beliefs, including sense of purpose and peace, meaning of life, connections to people, nature, energy, music or art
    2. Often includes (but is not limited to) Religion and faith
  2. Pastoral Care
    1. Counseling or comfort by spiritual advisors or clergy (e.g. ministers, priests, rabbis) to address emotional or stressful life events
  3. Religion
    1. Beliefs about the nature, origin and purpose of the universe often as it relates to a superhuman being or god
    2. Associated with worship and ritual observances, as well as a prescribed moral code of conduct
  • Indications
  1. Advanced Care Directives
  2. Palliative Care or Hospice (or other End-Of-Life Care)
  3. Hospitalized Patients (esp. Critical Illness)
  4. Substance Abuse
  • Epidemiology
  1. U.S. adult population that believes in God or a universal spirit: 86-92%
  • Evaluation
  1. See HOPE Questions for Spiritual Assessment
  2. Joint Commission (JCAHO) example screening questions
    1. Do you struggle with loss of meaning and joy in your life?
    2. Do you currently have what you would describe as religious or spiritual struggles?
  • Management
  1. Consider addressing Spirituality at times of major life adverse events (or in preparation for these events)
  2. Spiritual Assessment is individualized for patient and provider
    1. Patients may not wish to address Spirituality, or may wish to limit Spirituality discussions to others (e.g. clergy)
    2. Provider's own Spirituality may dictate whether they wish to address this with a patient and to what level