Spiritual Needs Assessment

In health care practice, there is need for spiritual need assessment. Everybody has needs such as social, psychological, physical and spiritual. In health care emotional and spiritual needs have become essential as physical and psychological needs. According to McSherry & Ross (2010), provision for spiritual care in response to spiritual needs should be readily provided as other aspect of healthcare regardless of the ailments.  Through spiritual need assessment, health care providers can be able to identify the patient’s spiritual needs concerning their mental health. Spiritual needs assessment tools are used to identify the needs. This includes questions that guide the heath care providers gather information from the patients (Saguil et al, 2012).

Spiritual needs assessment tools

  1. What is your spiritual or religious belief?
  2. Are you spiritual or religious?
  3. How religion does affect your life?
  4. Are u a member of a spiritual or religious community
  5. How do you like me addressing spiritual issues in your treatment?

These assessment tool questions were asked to a friend. Even though my friend did not suffer from any form of health problem, it was necessary to test this tool. Findings show that the friend has Christian beliefs. He believes that there is a supernatural God who is the creator of heaven and earth.  He has faith that the super natural God is the provider and able to do everything that a human being cannot do.  He said that he is religious and did not understand the difference between being spiritual or religious. He argued that the two terms were synonymous.  He is religious and believes in supernatural powers of the highest God. His religion helps him in spiritual growth. His faith grows day by day as he reads the bible, understand and live according to the word.  His religious has a positive influence in his life. He is able to discern what is good and bad. Religion also helps him relate peacefully with other people in the society.  Religious values also help him live a better life free from societal conflicts.  My friend also revealed that he is a member of a religious community. He is a protestant and a registered member of the church.  He attends the church on Sundays and week day fellowships.  He says that he feels good when he discusses spiritual matters with others especially those going through difficult moments. Spiritual issues give him a relief whenever he discusses them. Even when he is sick, he prefers reading the bible as it gives him inspirations.

During the interview with this friend, I discovered that he is so much connected to religion. His life revolves around religious beliefs. Everything he does is influence by religion. He was happy about the interview since he had the opportunity to share information on his religious beliefs.  In this interview, everything went well because my friend was excited about the topic in spiritual needs. However, in future I believe that I would be more specific. I would exercise the way I can use the tool in treating a particular illness.

In developing this assessment tool, I faced different challenges. It was difficult to develop the objectives that the tool would accomplish.  Knowing how to connect the spiritual needs with health treatment was a challenge.  In future, I would have proper planning before preparing the assessment toll. This will provide time for extensive research and pre-testing the tool on a larger sample.  There are different forms of spiritual needs that I did not understand. Before developing an assessment tool in future, I will ensure that I have a list of the needs. According to McSherry & Ross (2010), there is need for meaning and purpose, need for love, forgiveness, trust, and spiritual practices. Once these needs are understood, it will be easy to develop an effective assessment tool.

In the interview I had with my friend, I was in a position to learn that spiritual needs are quite essential in human beings.  It was a nice experience learning the influence of spiritual needs in treatment. My friend shared that whenever he is sick; he gets encouraged when he receives spiritual encouragement from a member of the church.  Praying together with the friend gives him hope that the problem is gone.  I had an experience to pray with him and learned that this gave him much relief. According to McSherry (2006), prayer evokes the body mind responses that promote healing. It helps heal emotions, inner feelings and relationships that may be more profound than physical healing. Healthcare practitioners should get involved in prayer for healing. Nurses assert that the patient’s faith has a major role to play in coping with health problems. The experience with my friend helps me learn that health care practitioners should refer patients to spiritual and pastoral care (O’Brien, 2004).


McSherry W. & Ross, L. (2010). Spiritual Assessment in Healthcare Practice.  New York:

M&K Publishing.

McSherry, W. (2006). Making sense of Spirituality in Nursing and Healthcare Practice. New

York: Jessica Kingley Publishers.

O’Brien M (2004). A Nurse’s Handbook of Spiritual Care: Standing on Holy Ground.  New

York: Jones and Bartlett Publishers

Saguil A et al (2012). The Spiritual Assessment. American Family Physician p. 546-550.

Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0915/p546.html