Spiritual Assessment Interview and Analysis
It is imperative that healthcare providers assess spiritual beliefs to provide the best care possible to patients. Research has shown there is a correlation between a patient’s spirituality with their health and their ability to cope with illness. “Analysis of data from 42 published mortality studies involving approximately 126,000 participants revealed that individuals reporting frequent religious involvements were significantly more likely to live longer in comparison to persons who were infrequently religiously involved” (Robinson, D. 2012. P 127). According to the Joint Commission, medical organizations must include a spiritual assessment in order to maintain accreditation. Although the Joint Commission does not specify what needs to be included in the spiritual assessment (The Joint Commission, 2008). I believe the Joint Commission has required this from organizations because they have realized that hospitalized patients are at an increased risk of suffering from spiritual distress. The Joint Commission has realized that patients expect and appreciate having their spiritual needs met. For the purposes of this paper, this author will create a spiritual assessment based off the Joint Commission suggestions and elements (The Joint Commission, 2008). This author will provide a transcript of the interview using the created spiritual assessment tool and an analysis of the interview experience.
Spiritual Assessment Tool Created This author chose a family friend, F.B., who had recently been admitted to the hospital for chest pain. Below, F.B. answers to the spiritual assessment questions which are provided following each question.
1. Do you have any particular spiritual or religious belief system that you follow which may be useful for me to incorporate into your plan of care?
F. B.: “Yes I am a practicing Catholic, I go to church every Sunday” (F. B, personal communication, February 10, 2015).
2. Are there any religious practices or restrictions that I may include in your hospital stay to promote your religious beliefs and health?
F. B.: “There are not any that I can think of at this moment but if it was Sunday I would like to receive the Eucharist.” (F. B, personal communication, February 10, 2015).
3. During illness and stressful times in your life who or what provides you comfort, strength, or hope?
F. B: “My husband, children, and most importantly, my faith in God” (F. B, personal communication, February 10, 2015).
4. During illness and stressful times are there any practices that provide you comfort, strength, or hope?
F. B.: “Prayer always brings me strength and comfort. I also enjoy reciting the Holy Rosary” (F. B, personal communication, February 10, 2015).
5. Does your religious practices and faith provide you strength and comfort in your life?
F. B.: “Yes, it does very much. It brings me peace and provides me strength every day of my life” (F. B, personal communication, February 10, 2015).
Analysis of the Interview Experience Upon conclusion of this interview the author feels that open ended questions were beneficial to the patient in the spiritual assessment. “Open-ended questions are questions that cause the patient to stop and think about the question, and then provide an answer in their own words. This helps patients identify their spiritual issues without pigeon holing them into the confines of the assessment tool language” (Robinson, D. 2012. p. 83). In the future, this author would include spiritual questions that addresses how the patient foresees their current illness in conjunction with their religious practice or beliefs. The spiritual assessment tool created for this assignment could potentially create a barrier if the patient does not have a practicing belief or religion. The spiritual assessment tool could improve by implementing a