Assessing the spiritual needs of patients
Evidence & Practice    

Assessing the spiritual needs of patients

Fiona Timmins Associate professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Sílvia Caldeira Assistant professor, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Lisbon, Portugal

Assessing spirituality and the spiritual needs of patients is fundamental to providing effective spiritual care. This article, the second in a series of three, discusses the assessment of patients’ spirituality and spiritual needs in healthcare settings. Several formal spiritual assessment tools are available to assist nurses to identify patients’ spiritual needs and to determine whether they are experiencing spiritual distress. However, it may be more appropriate to assess patients’ spirituality informally, by asking open questions about their spiritual beliefs and needs. It is important for nurses to be aware of the limits of their competence in undertaking spiritual assessment and providing spiritual care, and to refer patients to the healthcare chaplain or other spiritual support personnel where necessary. The third and final article in this series will discuss spiritual care nursing interventions.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10312

Correspondence

timminsf@tcd.ie

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 18 October 2015

Accepted: 01 July 2016

Published online: 09 March 2017

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or