The modern health care system strives to improve the process of handling and assess patients’ well-being. Although some factors are often overlooked, more and more health agencies tend to improve their understanding of how they can affect the process of a patient’s recovery. As such, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has issued a template and guidelines for a questionnaire to conduct the spiritual assessment of patients (Hodge, 2006). This assignment will contain an interview with an analysis to assess the spiritual needs of the interviewed person.
To provide the data for analysis, a person with spiritual needs and hospital history has been interviewed. Questions used in the interview were taken from the JCAHO template (Hodge, 2006).
Author (A): Who or what brings hope and strength to you?
Interviewed (I): Well, it is not an easy question, but I think that the thoughts of my family and that there is someone watching over me usually help.
A: How would you describe your philosophy of life? What do you believe in?
I: I cannot say that I am a religious person, but I do like to think that everything in life has a purpose, and we live according to the higher plan.
A: When you were ill, what kind of spiritual support was the most important for you?
I: Besides the support from my friends and family, I would usually talk to nursing staff in the hospital. It was nothing too spiritual in nature, but it reassured me that everything would be okay and that I was not alone in that situation. In addition to that, there were some books on that topic that I was reading.
A: How did your beliefs help you to cope with your illness?
I: I guess it helped me to believe that everything would get better in the end. After all, if everything goes according to the higher plane, then I will need to wait and see what this plan is.
A: How did your illness affect your family?
I: It was hard for everyone involved, but in the end, I think that it made us closer to each other. I cannot help but think that it was what this sickness meant to do.
The interviewee was a 27 years old Caucasian male, identifying himself as a Christian. In the process of the interview, there were no major complications in terms of finding his beliefs and experiences, though he asked to leave out information about his illness.
The challenge to complete this assignment was in finding a subject willing to share his personal feelings and beliefs in a personal situation. This challenge has been reduced by making the questions less invasive, though still adequate to obtain needed information. In the future, a correct and accurate wording of questions will help in minimizing this challenge.
This tool can be used in the detection of a patient’s beliefs and possible ways to satisfy those beliefs. That could prove beneficial in the care of patients as it could comfort them, supplementing their treatment. The latest research by Heidari, Borujeni, and Rafiei (2017) has shown that spiritual care significantly improves the well-being of patients, especially in cases of hopelessness and depression.
While it was not made clear during the interview, the subject has experienced a serious amount of stress during his treatment. Finding a way to talk about his beliefs and share them, as well as reading thematic literature, was beneficial to his emotion management, significantly reducing his stress levels. His spiritual needs were indeed increased during the decline in his health, which led to him spending more time reading holistic literature. As such, it is possible that his spiritual concerns are amplified during periods with higher amounts of stress.
In addition to that, it should be noted that while the interviewee has identified himself as not an overtly religious person, his choice of literature during his stay in hospital proves otherwise. Given that, we can safely conclude that his illness and the following stress had led him to reassess the priority of his spiritual needs. That provides us with proof that there is a direct connection between the state of health and spiritual needs of patients, whether they are religious or not.
In conclusion, it should be noted that this is a survey with a small sample, so its results could not be used to generalize the findings. Still, in the process of this research, it has been found that the template by JCAHO provides an effective tool to assess the spiritual needs of a patient in order to provide better treatment for them. In addition to that, this interview has shown a correlation between spiritual concerns and the health status of a patient. This correlation proves that patients with diagnoses more resistant to treatment require a higher level of attention to satisfy those concerns. As such, the potential of spiritual assessment should be investigated more thoroughly and implemented to improve the quality of a health care system.
Hodge, D. R. (2006). A template for spiritual assessment: A review of the JCAHO requirements and guidelines for implementation. Social Work, 51(4), 317-326.
Heidari, M., Borujeni M. G., & Rafiei H. (2017). The assessment effect of spiritual care on hopelessness and depression in suicide attempts. Journal of Religion and Health. Web.