The ultimate health status of an individual involves different aspects of health which include the physical, spiritual, and mental health which must all be considered in ensuring that a patient recovers back his/her full health (Harrington, 2016). Although most healthcare practitioners neglect the spiritual health aspect of patients either due to negligence or incompetence, spiritual health is very important in helping a client in regaining back his/her health status (Harrington, 2016). Most patients value spirituality since they believe it has an impact on their health as well as their lives. Religion, which is a component of spirituality, plays a major role in the treatment and healing process of patients especially those suffering from chronic illnesses. There are different spiritual assessment tools determined by the Joint Commission to help healthcare practitioners in conducting spiritual assessments for patients (Harrington, 2016).
FICA Spiritual Assessment Tool
FICA is one of the spiritual tools used by healthcare practitioners by providing guiding questions to healthcare practitioners in assessing patients (Blaber, Jones, & Willis, 2015). F stands for Faith, I for Importance and influence, C for Community, and A for Application. Faith which is also known as belief helps in determining if a particular patient has any form of belief which can be integrated in the treatment process (Blaber, Jones, & Willis, 2015). Faith is directly connected to the meaning of life and health in total, which can be used as a basis for determining the spiritual perspective of a patient. Importance is used to determine the effect of spirituality in a patient’s life and on his/her health. A healthcare professional can use this information to make decisions regarding the patient based on his/her perspective (Blaber, Jones, ; Willis, 2015).
Community involves the particular grouping and association, which determines the practices that the patient can engage in (Blaber, Jones, ; Willis, 2015). Address or Application determines the roles of the healthcare provider in addressing the needs of the patient. This information is important as it helps a healthcare professional in coming up with an effective treatment care plan (Blaber, Jones, ; Willis, 2015). The Community also plays an important role in providing support to the patients. Dr. Puchlski developed this spiritual assessment tool together with other healthcare professionals with the aim of helping patients in their spiritual aspect, which would help their healing process (Blaber, Jones, ; Willis, 2015).
Analysis of the FICA Assessment Tool
The FICA spiritual assessment tool is patient centered and is important in creating an increased level of trust by creating a favorable environment, which helps the patient to communicate his/her spiritual, needs to the healthcare professional (Hilsman, 2016). Information collected by using the FICA spiritual assessment tool is important for clinical assessment of spirituality as patients are able to share their spiritual beliefs, which is used to identify their spiritual needs (Hilsman, 2016). This tool is intended to be used in a clinical setting to aid clinicians in conducting spiritual assessments on their patients providing a maximum psychometric evaluation of the patients (Hilsman, 2016).
Validity and Reliability
The FICA tool has been validated unlike other tools which means that this tool has been proven to assess different spiritual perspectives which is important in identifying spiritual needs of patients (Hilsman, 2016). This is also important in integrating this information into the healthcare treatment plan. This tool is also reliable since it provides simple short questions which patients are able to answer accurately (Hilsman, 2016). This is important in providing care for individuals who are at the end of life situations. The tool also enables healthcare professionals to engage more with clients by inviting more conversations with the patients (Hilsman, 2016). This is important in enhancing the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals, which leads to improved trust levels, which are important in the provision of accurate information. This tool is also very efficient since it has always been amended after the collection of feedback from the users of the tool (Hilsman, 2016).
How the Spiritual Assessment Would Be Used In a Health Assessment
The FICA spiritual assessment tool has been indicated to be the best since it enables healthcare professionals to collect spiritual history, which is important in the treatment process (Draper, 2012). This tool can be used in a healthcare assessment during the regular visits of patients to healthcare facilities. The healthcare professional should follow the ethical guidelines provided in the utilization of the tool in collecting spiritual history (Draper, 2012). This tool also provides guidance during conversations between healthcare practitioners and the patients, which focus on the spiritual needs related to the patients. The FICA assessment tool can be used at the end of a physical examination, which can continue during the follow-up visits (Draper, 2012).
The HOPE Approach of Spiritual Assessment
This is another tool, which was developed by Anandarajah and Height at Brown University for conducting spiritual assessment for patients (Hall, 2014). H stands for sources of hope, O for organized religion, P for personal spirituality, and E for effects of healthcare and issues of life (Hall, 2014). The sources of hope includes sources of strength and peace for an individual and solutions to personal conflicts as well as challenging times which may include times of sicknesses. Organized religion includes the community or society which a patient belongs to and its influence on the patient’s life as well as his/her health status (Hall, 2014).
Personal spirituality includes personal practices, beliefs, and their importance to the individuals in their lives as well as their health perspective (Hall, 2014). Effects of healthcare and life issues involve an analysis of how the current situation affects a client’s spirituality. This will help a healthcare professional in helping a patient in accessing important resources, which may help a client in the current situation (Hall, 2014). The healthcare professional is also informed on any restrictions on certain medical practices, which the client deems harmful of against his/her spiritual beliefs. This is important since it also affects patients with chronic illnesses or those close to their death as their beliefs determine the kind of medical care being administered to them (Hall, 2014).
Analysis of the HOPE Assessment Tool
Although the HOPE assessment tool is time consuming due to the questions of hope, this tool is important in providing a deeper insight on the influence of spirituality on an individual and the importance of spirituality to an individual (Ferrell, Coyle, ; Paice, 2015). This tool uses less complex questions, which are necessary in collecting information from the patient. Any conflicts between spiritual beliefs and healthcare interventions are identified which is important to healthcare practitioners to prevent them from using certain medical interventions, which may negatively impact the patients (Ferrell, Coyle, ; Paice, 2015). This tool is important in collecting spiritual history and in the implementation of healthcare interventions, which will guarantee the achievement of healthcare goals (Ferrell, Coyle, ; Paice, 2015).
Validity and Reliability
This tool is also reliable, as it does not use spiritual terms, which may act as barriers by preventing more and detailed discussions with the patients (Ferrell, Coyle, ; Paice, 2015). Since the tool uses a sense of hope and comfort, the patients are able to open up about any issues in their lives, which may have led to the current crisis. This tool also examines the role of different spiritual elements in helping individuals during difficult times (Ferrell, Coyle, ; Paice, 2015). This provides important information in helping healthcare professionals to come up with efficient treatment plans. This tool also has simple questions to assist healthcare providers when collecting information from the patients. These questions are less threatening which lead to improved communication between the healthcare provider and the patient (Ferrell, Coyle, ; Paice, 2015).
How the Spiritual Assessment Would Be Used In a Health Assessment
The HOPE spiritual assessment tool provides healthcare practitioners with questions to guide them in their assessment process (Draper, 2012). Healthcare practitioners are able to move from a general concept of spirituality to specific applications to certain patients. This tool is important in helping healthcare professionals in finding hope for patients going through certain crisis and challenges, which may include sicknesses (Draper, 2012). This is due to the uncertainty and hopelessness, which comes with ill health and suffering. The questions contained in this tool are open-ended questions to avoid any barriers which may prevent clients from providing and expressing their spiritual concerns (Draper, 2012).
Spiritual assessment is important especially in healthcare settings to aid healthcare practitioners in assessing the spiritual needs of their clients and should not be neglected in the treatment process (Harrington, 2016). Spirituality is very important in enabling a patient in recovering back his/her total health. The aspect of spirituality is also being introduced in nursing colleges and universities to help healthcare practitioners to be well prepared due to its importance in a healthcare setting (Harrington, 2016). Spiritual assessment is also important due to the rise in chronic illness where the aspect plays a big role. With the two spiritual assessment tools playing an important role in assessing spirituality in patients, healthcare practitioners should be well educated and trained on how to implement FICA and HOPE assessment tools successfully. This will help the healthcare practitioners in achieving their desired objectives (Harrington, 2016).
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Draper, P. (2012). An integrative review of spiritual assessment: implications for nursing management. Journal of Nursing Management, 20(8), 970–980.
Ferrell, B. R., Coyle, N., ; Paice, J. A. (2015). Oxford textbook of palliative nursing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hall, C. (2014). Health, healing and hope: A journey to spiritual and physical wellness. New York: Springer Pub.
Harrington, A. (2016). The importance of spiritual assessment when caring for older adults. Ageing and Society Journal, 36(1), 1-16.
Hilsman, G. J. (2016). Spiritual care in common terms: How chaplains can effectively describe the spiritual needs of patients in medical records. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.