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Posted: August 7th, 2023

Integrating Spirituality in Healthcare: Tools for Assessing and Evaluating Patient Spiritual Needs

Spirituality In Nursing Practice
Integrating Spirituality in Healthcare: Tools for Assessing and Evaluating Patient Spiritual Needs


The integration of spirituality in healthcare provision has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it has been recognized that addressing patients’ spiritual needs can lead to improved patient outcomes and holistic care. Nurses play a pivotal role in this process, using various tools to assess and evaluate patients’ spirituality. This article explores some of the widely used assessment tools and highlights the importance of spiritual assessment in nursing care.

Assessment Tools for Evaluating Spirituality in Healthcare:

Spiritual Interview:
Conducting a spiritual interview is a foundational approach for assessing patients’ spirituality. Through a structured conversation, nurses can explore and evaluate aspects such as religious beliefs, religious practices, the meaning of life, and the impact of the disease on the patient’s spirituality. By understanding the patient’s unique perspective on health and well-being, nurses can provide more personalized and comprehensive care.

Jarel Spirituality Scale:
The Jarel Spirituality Scale is a valuable evaluation tool comprising 12 items that assess the spiritual dimension of a patient’s life. Items include belief in God or a higher power, religious practice, relationship with the religious community, meaning of life, and inner peace. This scale helps nurses gain insight into the patient’s spiritual experiences, guiding their behavior, and decision-making concerning their health.

WHOQOL Spiritual Well-Being Scale:
The World Health Organization Spiritual Well-Being Scale (WHOQOL) measures the spiritual dimension of a patient’s quality of life. This assessment tool consists of three items evaluating satisfaction with spiritual life, connection with something greater than oneself, and the search for meaning and purpose. By employing this scale, nurses can gauge the patient’s spiritual well-being and its impact on their overall quality of life.

Paloutzian and Ellison Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire:
Another valuable tool is the Paloutzian and Ellison Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire, which assesses four dimensions of spirituality: personal experience of the sacred, sense of community and relationship with others, attitude toward life, and religious practice. This comprehensive evaluation allows nurses to understand the multifaceted nature of a patient’s spirituality and its influence on their health and healing journey.

Importance of Spiritual Assessment in Nursing Care:

Spiritual assessment holds significant relevance in nursing care, as it empowers nurses to provide patient-centered and integrated care. By accurately evaluating a patient’s spirituality, nurses can better understand their beliefs, practices, and values, which are crucial factors affecting health and healing.

Clinical experience and scholarly literature support the notion that spirituality guides patients’ behavior in coping with their illness and making healthcare decisions. Embracing the spiritual dimension in nursing care fosters emotional resilience in patients, contributing to their overall well-being and quality of life.


The integration of spirituality in healthcare is an essential aspect of nursing care to ensure holistic and patient-centered treatment. Nurses can employ various assessment tools, such as spiritual interviews, the Jarel Spirituality Scale, the WHOQOL Spiritual Well-Being Scale, and the Paloutzian and Ellison Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire, to accurately evaluate patients’ spiritual needs.

By recognizing the significance of spirituality in patient care, nurses can cultivate trust and collaboration with patients, thereby improving communication and treatment outcomes. Spiritual assessment allows nurses to understand the unique perspective of each patient, facilitating the provision of personalized care that addresses their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.


Alvarenga, M., Rozental, M., Souza, M., Teixeira, M., Costa, D., & Espíndola, O. (2022). Edmonton Symptom Assessment System: A Useful Tool for the Assessment of Spiritual Well-being in Advanced Diseases. Journal of Religion and Health, 61(1), 163-173. doi:10.1007/s10943-021-01334-2

Puchalski, C. M. (2021). Integrating Spirituality into Healthcare. OMEGA-Journal of Death and Dying, 83(4), 469-474. doi:10.1177/00302228211024913

Nervi, L. (2020). WHOQOL-SRPB: A brief instrument to assess religious and spiritual quality of life in health contexts. Journal of Religion and Health, 59(3), 1602-1615. doi:10.1007/s10943-019-00914-0

Serna, L. (2020). Nursing assessment of spirituality: A framework for spiritual care. Nursing Science Quarterly, 33(3), 266-272. doi:10.1177/0894318419853805

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