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Spiritual Assessment Tool Spiritual Assessment Tool

An acronym that can be used to remember what is An acronym that can be used to remember what is
asked in a spiritual history is: asked in a spiritual history is:

F: Faith or Beliefs F: Faith or Beliefs


I: Importance and influence I: Importance and influence
C: Community C: Community
A: Address A: Address

Some specific questions you can use to discuss Some specific questions you can use to discuss
these issues are: these issues are:

F: What is your faith or belief? F: What is your faith or belief?


Do you consider yourself spiritual or religious? Do you consider yourself spiritual or religious?
What things do you believe in that give meaning What things do you believe in that give meaning
to your life? to your life?

I: Is it important in your life? I: Is it important in your life?


What influence does it have on how you take What influence does it have on how you take
care of yourself? care of yourself?
How have your beliefs influenced your behavior How have your beliefs influenced your behavior
during this illness? during this illness?
What role do your beliefs play in regaining What role do your beliefs play in regaining
your health? your health?

C: Are you part of a spiritual or religious community? C: Are you part of a spiritual or religious community?
Is this of support to you and how? Is this of support to you and how?
Is there a person or group of people you really love Is there a person or group of people you really love
or who are really important to you? or who are really important to you?

A: How would you like me, your healthcare provider, A: How would you like me, your healthcare provider,
to address these issues in your healthcare? to address these issues in your healthcare?

1999 Christina Puchalski, M.D. reprinted with permission from Christina Puchalski, M.D. 1999 Christina Puchalski, M.D. reprinted with permission from Christina Puchalski, M.D.

CME 2008 CME 2008

Examples of Questions for the HOPE Approach H: Sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love
and connection
to Spiritual Assessment We have been discussing your support systems. I was
wondering, what is there in your life that gives you internal American Family Physician January 1, 2001/volume 63, Number 1
www.aafp.org/afp
support? What are your sources of hope, strength, comfort and
peace?
What do you hold on to during difficult
times? What sustains you and keeps you
going?
For some people, their religious or spiritual beliefs act as
a source of comfort and strength in dealing with lifes ups
and downs; is this true for you?
If the answer is yes, go on to O and P questions.
If the answer is no, consider asking: was it ever? If
the answer is Yes, ask: What changed?

O: Organized religion
Do you consider yourself part of an organized
religion? How important is this to you?
What aspects of your religion are helpful and not so helpful to you?
Are you part of a religious or spiritual community?
Does it help you? How?

P: Personal spirituality/practices
Do you have personal spiritual beliefs that are
independent of organized religion? What are they?
Do you believe in God? What kind of relationship do
you have with God?
What aspects of your spirituality or spiritual practices do
you find most helpful to you personally? (e.g., prayer,
meditation, reading scripture, attending religious services,
listening to music, hiking, communing with nature)

E: Effects on medical care and end-of-life issues


Has being sick (or your current situation) affected your
ability to do the things that usually help you spiritually? (Or
affected your relations with God?)
As a doctor, is there anything that I can do to help your access
the resources that usually help you?
Are you worried about any conflicts between your beliefs
and your medical situation/care/decisions?
Would it be helpful for you to speak to a
clinical chaplain/community spiritual
leader?
Are there any specific practices or restrictions I should know about
in providing your medical care? (e.g., dietary restrictions, use of
blood products)

If the patient is dying: How do your beliefs affect the kind of medical
care you would like me to provide over the next few
days/weeks/months?
Examples of Questions for the HOPE Do you believe in God? What kind of relationship do
you have with God?
Approach to Spiritual Assessment
What aspects of your spirituality or spiritual practices do
you find most helpful to you personally? (e.g., prayer,
H: Sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love
and connection meditation, reading scripture, attending religious services,
We have been discussing your support systems. I was listening to music, hiking, communing with nature)
wondering, what is there in your life that gives you internal
support? What are your sources of hope, strength, comfort and E: Effects on medical care and end-of-life issues
peace? Has being sick (or your current situation) affected your
What do you hold on to during difficult ability to do the things that usually help you spiritually? (Or
times? What sustains you and keeps you affected your relations with God?)
going? As a doctor, is there anything that I can do to help your access
For some people, their religious or spiritual beliefs act as the resources that usually help you?
a source of comfort and strength in dealing with lifes Are you worried about any conflicts between your beliefs
ups and downs; is this true for you? and your medical situation/care/decisions?
If the answer is yes, go on to O and P questions. Would it be helpful for you to speak to a
If the answer is no, consider asking: was it ever? clinical chaplain/community spiritual
If the answer is Yes, ask: What changed? leader?
Are there any specific practices or restrictions I should know about
O: Organized religion in providing your medical care? (e.g., dietary restrictions, use of
Do you consider yourself part of an organized blood products)
religion? How important is this to you?
What aspects of your religion are helpful and not so helpful to If the patient is dying: How do your beliefs affect the kind of medical
you?
care you would like me to provide over the next few
Are you part of a religious or spiritual community?
days/weeks/months?
Does it help you? How?
American Family Physician January 1, 2001/volume 63, Number 1
P: Personal spirituality/practices www.aafp.org/afp
Do you have personal spiritual beliefs that are
independent of organized religion? What are they?
Examples of Questions for the HOPE Approach to
Spiritual Assessment
H: Sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love and
connection
We have been discussing your support systems. I was
wondering, what is there in your life that gives you internal support?
What are your sources of hope, strength, comfort and peace?
What do you hold on to during difficult times?
What sustains you and keeps you going?
For some people, their religious or spiritual beliefs act as a
source of comfort and strength in dealing with lifes ups and
downs; is this true for you?
If the answer is yes, go on to O and P questions.
If the answer is no, consider asking: was it ever? If the
answer is Yes, ask: What changed?

O: Organized religion
Do you consider yourself part of an organized religion?
How important is this to you?
What aspects of your religion are helpful and not so helpful to you?
Are you part of a religious or spiritual community? Does it
help you? How?

P: Personal spirituality/practices
Do you have personal spiritual beliefs that are independent
of organized religion? What are they?
Do you believe in God? What kind of relationship do you
have with God?
What aspects of your spirituality or spiritual practices do you
find most helpful to you personally? (e.g., prayer, meditation,
reading scripture, attending religious services, listening to
music, hiking, communing with nature)

E: Effects on medical care and end-of-life issues


Has being sick (or your current situation) affected your ability
to do the things that usually help you spiritually? (Or affected
your relations with God?)
As a doctor, is there anything that I can do to help your access
the resources that usually help you?
Are you worried about any conflicts between your beliefs and
your medical situation/care/decisions?
Would it be helpful for you to speak to a clinical
chaplain/community spiritual leader?
Are there any specific practices or restrictions I should know about in
providing your medical care? (e.g., dietary restrictions, use of
blood products)
If the patient is dying: How do your beliefs affect the kind of medical care
you would like me to provide over the next few days/weeks/months?

American Family Physician January 1, 2001/volume 63, Number 1 www.aafp.org/afp