Why Is A Patient Spirituality Important? (TOP 5 Tips)

Attending to the spiritual dimensions of the patient can provide the physician with a more in-depth understanding of the patient and his or her needs. We may thus use a variety of spiritually informed therapeutic tools that can greatly facilitate the patient’s coping ability, thus enhancing wellbeing and recovery.

Is there a role for spirituality in health care?

  • Spirituality has a positive role in healthcare, coping and recovery. It can help you create a positive outlook on life, find purpose, reduce pain, improve physical functioning, reduce the risk of disease, increase relaxation, reduce stress, increase hope, increase the feeling of belonging, and increases lifespan.


Why spirituality is important for patient care?

Spirituality and Patient-Centered Care In Nursing Studies show spirituality helps patients cope with stress, make crucial medical decisions, and improves their quality of life.

How can spirituality enhance the patient experience?

enhance a sense of meaning. You can incorporate the crisis they are having now into the overall meaning of their life and build a concept of hope. All of those things are really then serving not just the physical care received, but may even support that physical care in being more successful.

Why is spirituality so important?

It encourages people to have better relationships with themselves, others, and the unknown. Spirituality can help you deal with stress by giving you a sense of peace, purpose, and forgiveness. It often becomes more important in times of emotional stress or illness. Positive impacts of spirituality.

How does spirituality help in healing?

Some research shows a connection between your beliefs and your sense of well being. Positive beliefs, comfort, and strength gained from religion, meditation, and prayer can contribute to well being. It may even promote healing. Improving your spiritual health may not cure an illness, but it may help you feel better.

How does spirituality affect patient care?

There is also evidence to suggest that better treatment decisions are made when spirituality is a factor in decision making. A study on end-of-life outcomes showed that spiritual support from a patient’s medical team resulted in greater hospice utilization, less aggressive interventions, and fewer ICU deaths.

How does spirituality impact the care of your client?

Patients who are spiritual may utilize their beliefs in coping with illness, pain, and life stresses. Some studies indicate that those who are spiritual tend to have a more positive outlook and a better quality of life.

What factors influence patient spirituality?

The “Spirituality Meaning” category included five themes, such as mind, emotions, mind/emotions, ethical principles, and religion. Personal practices and environmental factors as well as mind, emotions, ethical principles, and religion themes were in the “Factors That Increase Spirituality” category.

How do you assess spiritual needs of a patient?

Most of these assessment tools involve asking the patient questions about their personal spirituality and rituals, faith and beliefs, resources and expectations. They consist of open questions; this enables the assessment of specific aspects of the patient’s beliefs and promotes inclusion.

Why is religious spirituality important in healthcare?

According to Cultural Religious Competence in Clinical Practice, “Religion and spirituality are important factors in a majority of the patients seeking care. Religion and spirituality can impact decisions regarding diet, medicines based on animal products, modesty, and the preferred gender of their health providers.

How is spirituality significant to my everyday life?

Spirituality is linked to many important aspects of human functioning —spiritual people have positive relationships, high self-esteem, are optimistic, and have meaning and purpose in life. Spiritual people self-actualize.

What is spiritual care in nursing?

Scholars have identified spiritual nursing care as essential to nursing practice and include caring for the human spirit through the development of relationships and interconnectedness between the nurse and the patient.

The Importance of Spirituality in Patient-Centered Care

Article published on July 1st, 2014 by Skip Nav Destination RH Savel, MD; RH Savel is a coeditor in chief for the American Journal of Critical Care, and he is a board-certified critical care physician. A surgeon by training, he is the director of surgical critical care at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, as well as a clinical medicine and neurology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Cindy L. Munrois is a coeditor in chief of the American Journal of Critical Care, a journal that she founded.

Find further works by this author on:Cindy L.

Munro, RN, PhD, ANPCindy L.

Munro, RN, PhD, ANPCindy L.

  • Munro, RN, PhD, ANPCind A surgeon by training, he is the director of surgical critical care at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, as well as a clinical medicine and neurology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
  • Munrois is a coeditor in chief of the American Journal of Critical Care, a journal that she founded.
  • You may find further works by this author on the following website: Am J Crit Care(2014) 23 (4): 276–278.
  • The majority of the time, our patients are unable to communicate with us owing to either fundamental neurological impairment or the drugs they require to be comfortable while on a ventilator, respectively.
  • And it should go without saying that these interventions are of the utmost importance in the circumstances.
  • However, they are entitled to more.
  • As vital as the physical body is, the importance of the holistic trinity of body-mind-spirit cannot be understated.
  • Nonetheless, one area that is frequently neglected, despite the fact that it is of critical importance, is that of the patient’s spiritual well-being.
  • Whatever the case, we owe it to our patients and their family to make them feel more at ease in this area.
  • However, if spiritual health is as vital as physiological health, it is possible that the reverse is true and that we cannot afford to disregard spiritual health altogether.

The term “spirituality” may be defined in a variety of ways, but one especially useful explanation is the idea that spirituality is “the connection that people form with something greater than themselves as a method of achieving self-actualization.” 1 The practice of spiritual nursing care can be defined as “an intuitive, interpersonal, altruistic and integrative expression that is contingent on the nurse’s awareness of the transcendent dimension of life, but that reflects the patient’s reality.” In a similar vein, “holistic nursing care” can be defined as “a holistic expression that includes the nurse’s awareness of the transcendent dimension of life, but that reflects the patient’s reality.” The features of a person’s connection to concerns of transcendence—the way he or she seeks the ultimate solutions to problems of meaning, value, and relationship—can also be characterized as spirituality.

It is critical to distinguish between spirituality and religious belief systems.

Knowing One’s Own Spiritual View

In order to embrace the spirituality of others, we must first recognize our own spirituality, which is the first step. 5 People who have a religious affiliation may find it simple to do so; however, individuals who do not have a religious attachment may find it difficult and require significant time, effort, and serious contemplation to accomplish. A shared value system unites us all, on the one hand, in that we find pleasure in assisting others; otherwise, we would not have chosen a career in health-care administration in the first place.

In the event that we become overworked or overstressed, neither of which is uncommon in our line of work, we may lose sight of the fact that we have the honor of caring for patients who are at their most vulnerable.

“Intentionality” Is Important

From the perspective of a nurse, many of the concepts connected with spirituality may already be included into routine nursing care: for example, active listening, therapeutic touch, and humor are all examples. 6 Along with being aware of and cultivating their own spirituality, nurses must exercise “intentionality,” or concentrated consciousness, in order to be successful. 7 In order to be fully present in a patient’s room, it is critical to enter the room with a clear mind. It might be as basic as taking a few deep breaths before entering the room to make a positive first impression.

  1. What are the patient’s or his or her family’s worries about the situation?
  2. There are several barriers and distractions, and it appears that time is of the importance at all times.
  3. It may be easier for caregivers to drill down to the root of a patient’s or family’s true concerns if they focus their minds and are present, and it may also be easier for clinicians to find more meaning in our daily lives if they focus their minds and are present.
  4. Really, though, it shouldn’t come down to a choice between the two options.
  5. 8

Embracing Spirituality While Representing Science

Many of us have difficulty striking a balance between spirituality and science, maybe because we do not consider ourselves to be very spiritual people. There are some of us who believe that science is the dominant paradigm of life; such caregivers may get perplexed or uncomfortable when patients prefer alternative or complementary therapies in their approach to sickness, as they should. 9 The late Steve Jobs, the late cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc, is a modern example of someone who chose alternative medicine to cure his pancreatic cancer rather of seeking evidence-based Western therapy, potentially shortening his life expectancy by several years.

Many times, this request will be influenced by the spiritual or cultural background of the person making the request.

Cultural, religious, and spiritual problems are obviously important when dealing with end-of-life care, but it is beneficial to all patients if we can extend our cultural and spiritual viewpoint when dealing with situations that we may not ordinarily consider to be spiritual in nature.

We have to be outstanding clinicians.

We must accept and embrace the fact that, until we fully comprehend and appreciate the holistic perspective of each patient (and, in some cases, each family member), we will be unable to forge the necessary and crucial bonds of trust that will enable us to successfully guide our patients through their stay in the intensive care unit.


On a fundamental level, we strive to give complete care to critically ill patients and their families. We believe that this is possible. In all likelihood, the most critical obligation we have is to detect and treat our patients’ life-threatening sickness or injury in a timely manner. There’s more to it than that. To genuinely care for the full patient—body, mind, and spirit—we must step out of our comfort zone and consider new approaches. 11 We must always remind ourselves that taking care of our own spiritual needs will only enable us to be more effective advocates for patients in the future.

As difficult as our duties are in providing care to patients in the intensive care unit, if we take the time to examine the spiritual component of our patients and their families, we have the ability to gain a better respect and understanding of those we care for—as well as of ourselves.


The care of the spiritually minded is provided through McEwenM. HNP 2005;19:161–168. Holist Nurs Pract. 2005;19:161–168. 2Sawatzky, R., and Pesut, B., “Attributes of spiritual care in nursing practice,” Nursing Research, vol. Journal of Holistic Nursing, Volume 23, Number 1, 2005, pages 19–33. 3SmithAR. In critical care settings, the synergy model may be used to give spiritual nursing care to patients. Journal of Critical Care Nursing, 2006;26(4):41–47. 4CarpenterK,GirvinL,KitnerW,Ruth-SahdLA.

  • Dimens Journal of Critical Care Nursing, 2008;27(1):16–20.
  • Nursing spirituality and its relationship to their concept and practice of spiritual care are examined.
  • Sixth, Chang HY, Wallis M, and Tiralongo E.Use of complementary and alternative medicine among patients living with diabetes: a review of the literature Journal of Advanced Nursing 2007;58(4):307–319.
  • The Journal of Holistic Nursing Practice, Vol.
  • 1, pp.
  • 8McEwenM.Spiritual nursing care at the cutting edge of technology.
  • Holist Nurs Pract 2005;19(4):161–168.
  • (This information was obtained from.) 10SulmasyDP.Spirituality, religion, and clinical treatment are all discussed in this chapter.
  • The perspectives of spiritual care for nurse managers (Battey, BW, ed.).
  • 2014 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses2014 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
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The statements and opinions expressed in this editorial are solely those of the coeditors in chief and do not represent the views of any other party. DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION SNone has made a report. Online DiscussionsNow that you’ve finished reading the article, start or participate in an online conversation about it. Visit the article’s full-text or PDF format and look for the word “Responses” in the second column of the second column of the article.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses may be reached at 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 if you want to order electronic or print copies. (800) 899-1712 or (949) 362-2050 (ext 532); fax: (949) 362-2049; e-mail: [email protected]


The care of the spiritually minded is provided through McEwenM. HNP 2005;19:161–168. Holist Nurs Pract. 2005;19:161–168. 2Sawatzky, R., and Pesut, B., “Attributes of spiritual care in nursing practice,” Nursing Research, vol. Journal of Holistic Nursing, Volume 23, Number 1, 2005, pages 19–33. 3SmithAR. In critical care settings, the synergy model may be used to give spiritual nursing care to patients. Journal of Critical Care Nursing, 2006;26(4):41–47. 4CarpenterK,GirvinL,KitnerW,Ruth-SahdLA.

  1. Dimens Journal of Critical Care Nursing, 2008;27(1):16–20.
  2. Nursing spirituality and its relationship to their concept and practice of spiritual care are examined.
  3. Sixth, Chang HY, Wallis M, and Tiralongo E.Use of complementary and alternative medicine among patients living with diabetes: a review of the literature Journal of Advanced Nursing 2007;58(4):307–319.
  4. The Journal of Holistic Nursing Practice, Vol.
  5. 1, pp.
  6. 8McEwenM.Spiritual nursing care at the cutting edge of technology.
  7. Holist Nurs Pract 2005;19(4):161–168.
  8. (This information was obtained from.) 10SulmasyDP.Spirituality, religion, and clinical treatment are all discussed in this chapter.
  9. The perspectives of spiritual care for nurse managers (Battey, BW, ed.).



Spiritual Care Incorporated Into Patient-Centered Care

Patient compliance with medical directives from healthcare providers was previously expected, regardless of personal preferences or spiritual beliefs, and patients were expected to do so without question. Patients and healthcare providers are working together more collaboratively as a result of the shift to patient-centered care (PCC). This allows patients to have a greater say in their own well-being and to incorporate personal interests, including spirituality, into treatment plans. For many patients, particularly those who are dealing with chronic or life-threatening illnesses, spirituality is an important component of their emotional well-being, according to a growing body of evidence.

Researchers believe that when caregivers strive to use PCC that is respectful and responsive, they must also include spiritual care into their practices.

Insufficient education of health-care practitioners about these concerns is a major impediment to further integration of spiritual care into health-care delivery.

Patient-Centered Care Defined

The concept of patient-centered care (PCC) was first proposed in the 1950s and gained popularity during the 1990s, eventually displacing physician-based care, which allowed patients little influence in their treatments. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recognized patient-centered care (PCC) as one of six priorities for the future of healthcare systems in 2001. “Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values” is how the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now known as the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), defined patient-centered care as “ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions” in its patient-centered care statement.

Instead, it opens the door to a continuous dialogue between patients and caregivers in order to make educated decisions about their health care needs.

Spirituality and Patient-Centered Care In Nursing

Researchers discovered that spirituality and religion play a significant part in the lives of the majority of Americans in the study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, titled “Teaching Health Care Providers To Provide Spiritual Care: A Pilot Study,” which was previously noted. Religion is significant to almost 77 percent of respondents, and nearly 75 percent of respondents believe in God or a higher power. Spirituality, according to research, can help patients manage with stress, make important medical decisions, and enhance their overall quality of life.

  1. In recent years, however, with a greater emphasis on providing holistic care and recognizing and reacting to unique patient requirements, nurses are increasingly being required to recognize and fulfill spiritual needs.
  2. In order to meet these spiritual demands, nurses are employing screening tools that can identify patients who want counseling promptly and efficiently.
  3. Nurses also collect spiritual histories from patients in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of their spiritual and religious backgrounds and to select the most beneficial assistance.
  4. Christina Puchalski of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health in Washington, D.C.
  • After entering the hospital system, patients should be assessed for spiritual needs as soon as possible. Professionals in the healthcare field should be taught to detect the signs and symptoms of spiritual distress
  • Patients’ medical records should be updated to reflect any spiritual screenings that have taken place. A chaplain should be summoned to see that spiritual wishes are carried out properly

Responding To Spiritual Requests

Inevitably, nurses are confronted with spiritual requests that they are ill-equipped to handle.

According to the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and Spiritual Care Association, nurses who are asked to pray for patients should follow the following guidelines:

  • Inquire about the request’s clarification and express your appreciation. Suppose a patient requests that they be accompanied in prayer. The nurse might respond, “Of course.” “What precisely would you like me to be praying for?” you might wonder. Follow up with a question such as, “Would you like me to pray for you throughout the day, or would you prefer that we say a prayer together now?”
  • If the nurse is uncomfortable engaging in prayer with the patient, tell the patient that “I don’t usually pray with my patients directly, but I can call the chaplain, who does pray with my patients.” I pledge to keep you in my thoughts and prayers today as well as for the rest of your trip.”
  • Before you begin, ask the patient to pray, and then repeat the feelings and context of the patient’s prayer
  • Carefully consider and establish appropriate limits while remaining attentive to the patient’s religion traditions and religious background

Inquire about the request’s specifics and express your appreciation. Suppose a patient requests that she be accompanied in prayer. The nurse may say, “Of course.” “Can you tell me what you’d like me to pray for specifically?” If they say yes, ask them if they would like me to pray for them throughout the day or if they would prefer to say a prayer with them right away. ; If the nurse feels uncomfortable participating in prayer with the patient, remind the patient that “I don’t generally pray with my patients directly, but I can contact the chaplain, who does pray with patients directly.” As for me, I pledge to keep you in my thoughts and prayers now and throughout your trip.” ; Before you begin, ask the patient to pray, and then repeat the sentiments and context of the patient’s prayer.

Carefully consider and maintain appropriate boundaries while remaining sensitive to the patient’s religious traditions and background.

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Incorporating Spirituality into Patient Care

Throughout history, the histories of medicine and religion have been intertwined in some way. Many faith-based communities, organizations, and agencies created hospitals and hospices as part of their overall mission to serve the community. In the contemporary period, however, the two have become more separated as medicine has become more scientific, culminating in the development of what has come to be known as the biomedical model in the mid-nineteenth century. In this time of secularization in medicine, some religious hospitals stayed committed to their faith-based mission, while others preserved their religious identity simply in name, as was the case with many Catholic hospitals.

  • Over the course of the next generation, this new concept became increasingly popular in Western medicine.
  • It’s common to hear the response, “Medicine is secular; religion is sacred and private,” when a patient or even a health-care professional brings up a religious principle when addressing health-care issues.
  • A good example of this disparity is the fact that, despite the fact that virtually all hospitals provide chaplaincy services, the chaplain is often not considered a member of the clinical team, but rather as an additional consultant in most situations.
  • A few of medical schools in the United States that were founded in the previous 175 years have enlarged the biological paradigm by including the notion of caring for the complete person into their mission statements, which emphasize the significance of a spiritual dimension in patient care.

In light of this trend, health-care practitioners should have a deeper grasp of the patient’s own personal, cultural, and religious beliefs.

Religion and Medical Ethics

As medical technology advanced fast in the 1960s and 1970s, providing methods of extending the lives of terminally sick patients, some individuals began to ask “should we.?” questions in addition to “can we.?” concerns about whether or not to use certain procedures. These are not clinical or even scientific concerns; rather, they are value-based inquiries. The fact that we are considering doing something does not imply that we should. Such problems emerge often nowadays in scenarios including end-of-life care, therapeutic limitations, the treatment of patients who have what others consider to be a lower quality of life, the utilization of limited or expensive resources, and so on.

  • The answers to these concerns are frequently debated in bedside circumstances that are submitted to a clinical ethics specialist or committee for further discussion.
  • When the first issues about what is good and wrong in medicine were raised, they were frequently raised by people of religion who realized that religious traditions addressed these ideals in some way.
  • The foundations of medical ethics are firmly rooted in faith, despite the fact that the field has been largely taken over by philosophers, physicians, the courts, and health policymakers in recent decades.
  • Actually, it’s rather simple.
  • All of these people have values, which are frequently founded on religious beliefs.

Foundations of Medical Ethics: Secular and Sacred Principles

Despite the fact that there are several conceptualizations of medical ethics, principlism is arguably the most often stated in North American discourse. While not adequate in and of itself to fully answer all ethical difficulties in medical practice, the principle of utilitarianism is frequently used as a starting point for such conversations. They are well-known and have been addressed extensively in a variety of venues, including medical schools and professional societies. The four foundational principles are (1) nonmaleficence (first and foremost, do no harm), (2) beneficence (always seek the best interests of the patient), (3) respect for autonomy (the patient has the right to make decisions for himself or herself), and (4) justice (do what is right for the patient) (we should treat like patients alike, without discrimination).

Respect for individuals is a common way of expressing this value.

The theologians who laid the groundwork for current medical ethics did so on the basis of principles as well, but these were sacred values.

Some of the holy precepts and beliefs held by followers of one or more of the three monotheistic religion traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) that may be significant, and in some cases even determinative, in resolving difficulties in medical ethics have been identified elsewhere by the author.

  • The Imago Dei is the image of God (the image of God in man).
  • This is innate, rather than imposed, and may be difficult to comprehend when we consider those born with anencephaly or suffering from severe dementia.
  • The sacredness of human life.
  • Human existence is unique; it differs from the lives of other animals.
  • This conviction in the sanctity of life, on the other hand, does not imply that we must constantly make an effort to delay human death, which is an unavoidable result of the Fall as well.
  • We live in a fallen world, complete with all of its manifestations, as a result of Adam’s transgression.
  • We should make every effort to prevent or control sickness.

After all, we are all limited in our abilities.

When the topic of quality of life is brought up, some people of religion object, claiming that we should only be concerned with the sanctity of life.

If the costs of continuing to live make it impossible for us to fulfill God’s plan, we are not obligated to take disproportionate steps to prevent death.

Those who follow the sacred books of all three monotheistic faith traditions believe that God is capable of interfering in our lives in ways that we cannot explain or comprehend, and in ways that appear to be at odds with the rules of nature.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to overuse the word “miracle,” as in “wonder treatments,” “miraculous survival,” and so on.

God, on the other hand, has the ability to perform such things when He so chooses.


It is our responsibility to remember that compassion literally means “to suffer with.” Some people mistake the phrase to suggest a patient’s life is being mercifully ended.

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The Ministry of Health and Human Services.

The prospect of an eternal life.

A loving God has given us the hope of eternal life with him.

“Hope” is not “the belief that something will come out good, but the knowledge that something makes sense regardless of how it ends out,” said former Czech President Václav Havel, in a thought-provoking essay.

The universe in which we exist as human beings has been corrupted, and we are subject to the authority of an all-powerful God.

It is God’s expectation that we would make decisions about how we will utilize our abilities and resources that we have been given liberty.

The time it takes for a patient to die might vary significantly depending on whether or not we opt to utilize cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ventilator support, dialysis, one more round of chemotherapy, antibiotics, or an intravenous feeding tube.

Many people of faith view the religious concept of free will and the secular concept of autonomy as being synonymous with one another.

In a more literal sense, the Hebrew prophet Micah set a limit on our ability to choose when he said, “He has shown you, O Man, what is good.” And what is it that the Lord expects of you?

In our role as free moral beings, we are not to be arrogant, making judgments only on the basis of our personal ideals, interests, and position of power.


Justice, on the other hand, entails receiving what we are due.

For example, the Roman Catholic ban against willfully causing death is absolute (or almost so), as is the Orthodox Jewish prohibition against ceasing life-sustaining treatment, and the Jehovah’s Witness prohibition against donating blood is practically absolute.

Some values, such as compassion and fairness, are held equally by religious and nonreligious people.

Inquiring about their religious beliefs, recognizing these principles, and addressing them openly, sometimes with the assistance of a chaplain or their own clergy, may frequently assist in bringing clarity and closure to a difficult situation.

The Professional’s Right of Conscience

When it comes to understanding and resolving clinical ethics dilemmas, being sensitive to the role of personal and religious values is most important because it focuses on the beliefs of patients and families. However, the professionals involved in these challenges are also individuals with their own personal and religious beliefs, which they must consider while making decisions. A health care professional’s religious principles may be violated if he or she is involved in counseling about, or specifically conducting, operations such as abortion, sterilization, withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies, physician-assisted suicide, and other similar procedures.

Remembering the moral distinction between a patient’s negativeautonomy (the right to refuse treatment or be left alone) and positiveautonomy (the entitlement to have one’s wishes carried out by others) is important from time to time.

The Patient’s Personal Values

Individuals’ values, which they apply when making difficult medical decisions, can be extremely personal. Depending on one’s religious views, certain personal values are founded solely on one’s beliefs. Some are based on a person’s worldview or philosophy of life, while others are more specific. When a patient’s “religious preference” or cultural background is noted in their medical record, health care workers should be cautious not to infer that the patient has certain beliefs based only on this information.

  1. There is a similar diversity of thought found within many different groups.
  2. There have been numerous proposals for how to discuss the spiritual element by way of a spiritual history, which have all been rejected.
  3. F—Do you consider yourself to be a member of a religious tradition?
  4. C—Do you consider yourself to be a member of a religious community?

Considering that just a percentage of a person’s personal values are based on his or her religious beliefs, I would recommend augmenting this spiritual background with a fifth question: “What personal values do you have that could also influence how you would like me to care for you?” Inquiring about this information can be obtained without being intrusive during the course of taking a patient’s medical history.

A faith-based approach recognizes that a patient’s religious beliefs may be an important part of his or her identity and that the care team is willing and even eager to consider personal and religious beliefs when making critical health-care decisions.

In addition, it may be appropriate to ask patients or families if they would like to speak with the hospital chaplain or their own pastor, priest, rabbi, or spiritual advisor.


Patients’ spirituality is being increasingly recognized as important in modern Western medicine, both during their treatment and after they have recovered. Nowhere is this more crucial than when it comes to discussing and resolving ethical concerns in the field of bedside medicine. So it’s critical for physicians to be aware of and familiar with the process of gathering a patient’s spiritual history in a noninvasive manner. The same is true for health care practitioners, who must recognize when their own beliefs create challenges in their practice of medicine and be ready to cope with concerns that may develop as a result of exercising their own right of conscience.


  1. The need for a new model: a biomedical problem, according to G.L. Engel. Science.1977
  2. 196(4286):130
  3. Georgetown University School of Medicine is a prestigious medical school in Washington, D.C. The mission and diversity statement are as follows: Loma Linda University School of Medicine website, accessed on March 16, 2015. Our mission is to. It was accessed on the 16th of March, 2015. Pellegrino is the executive director. The architecture of clinical judgments: some thoughts on what constitutes good reason and good conduct. The following are the editors’ choices: Engelhardt HT Jr., Spicker SF, and Towers B. A Critical Appraisal of Clinical Decision-Making 1979:169-194
  4. A. Verhey and SE Lammers, editors. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company
  5. 1979:169-194
  6. A. Verhey and SE Lammers, editors The Role of Theological Perspectives in Medical Ethics The William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1993
  7. Example: casuistry, consequentialism, deontology, story ethics, and virtue ethics are all philosophical concepts. Childress JF, Beauchamp TL (authors). The 6th edition of Principles of Biomedical Ethics is now available. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2008
  8. Orr, R.D. A theological framework is required. Medical Ethics and the Faith Factor: A Handbook for Clergy and Health-Care Professionals is a handbook for clergy and health-care professionals on medical ethics and the faith factor. 2009:22-33
  9. V. Havel and K. Hvizdala (eds.). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (2009:22-33). A Conversation with KarelHvid’ala about Disturbing the Peace. See, for example, the March 2013 edition of the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics
  10. Lucchetti G, Bassi RM, Lucchetti AL. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
  11. 1990:181
  12. Micah 6:8 (RSV). Instruments for taking spiritual histories in clinical practice: a systematic review of the literature C. Puchalski and A.L. Romer published Explore (New York) 9(3):159-170 in 2013. A spiritual history allows clinicians to gain a more complete understanding of their patients. Palliative Medicine Journal, Volume 3, Number 1, Pages 129-137, 2000.

Spirituality and Health

Meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace may all be found via spirituality. Spirituality is a way of life. Religion is a popular way for many individuals to find spirituality. Those who discover it via music, art, or a connection with nature are among those who do so. Others discover it inside their own set of beliefs and ideas.

How is spirituality related to health?

No one is completely certain of the relationship between spirituality and health. However, it appears that the body, the intellect, and the soul are all intertwined. The health of any one of these aspects appears to have an impact on the other elements. According to some study, there is a link between your beliefs and your overall feeling of well-being. Positive ideas, comfort, and strength received via religion, meditation, and prayer may all contribute to a person’s well-being and well-being can be improved.

Even if improving your spiritual health does not cure your sickness, it may be able to make you feel better.

Path to improved health

If you wish to increase your spiritual well-being, you might want to consider some of the suggestions below. Keep in mind, however, that everyone is an individual. If something works for someone else, it may or may not work for you. Make the decision that is most comfortable for you.

  • Examine your life and identify the things that provide you with a sense of inner calm, comfort, strength, love, and connection. Make time every day to perform the activities that will benefit your spiritual well-being. Participating in community service or volunteer work, praying, meditating, singing devotional songs, reading inspirational books, taking nature walks, setting aside quiet time for reflection, practicing yoga, participating in sports, or attending religious services are examples of activities that can be done.

Things to consider

If you are being treated by a doctor for a medical condition, you should consider discussing your spiritual views with him or her. Your spiritual beliefs and practices may have an impact on your sentiments and ideas concerning your medical condition. Inform your doctor if you believe that your spiritual views are having an impact on your health care decisions. If your spiritual beliefs are interfering with your ability to follow your doctor’s advice, you should always notify him or her.

When to see a doctor

Speak to your family doctor about your spiritual views, thoughts, or concerns if they are giving you anxiety. If your doctor is unable to assist you with these concerns, he or she may be able to refer you to someone who is.

Questions for your doctor

  • Is it possible that my spiritual or religious views have an affect on my health? Is it necessary for me to communicate my spiritual or religious convictions with you
  • If so, please explain.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health-Related Quality of Life survey measures how people feel about their health. The American Academy of Family Physicians retains ownership of the copyright.

This material is intended to offer a basic overview and may not be applicable to all situations. Consult with your primary care physician to determine whether or not this information applies to you and to obtain further information on this subject.

Providing spiritual care

Health-Related Quality of Life, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Academy of Family Physicians retains ownership of the intellectual property rights. As a broad overview, this material may or may not be applicable to all situations. Seek advice from your primary care physician to determine whether or not the material in this article applies to you and to obtain further information on this topic.

What are spiritual needs?

For various people, spirituality may mean different things in different situations. Spirituality can include religious beliefs and practices, although spirituality is not usually associated with religion or faith. Everyone, regardless of whether or not they adhere to a particular religion, has spiritual needs throughout their life. The following are examples of spiritual requirements:

  • Needing meaning and purpose in our lives
  • The need to love and be loved
  • The need of feeling a sense of belonging
  • The desire to experience hope, serenity, and appreciation
  • These are just a few of the things we need in life.

Different people do different things to satisfy their spiritual requirements, based on what is essential to them at that particular moment. A number of people participate in religious activities, such as praying or attending a religious gathering. For others, it may be spending time with friends and family, going for a walk in the woods, or engaging in their professions or hobbies. Throughout one’s life, the things that are most important to them might shift.

Spiritual needs in terminal illness

When someone is diagnosed with a terminal disease, they are forced to confront issues such as death, loss, and sadness that they have never had to confront before. It is possible that some persons suffering from a terminal disease will wish to ponder on the meaning of their lives more than at any other moment in their lives. As a person nears the end of their life, spiritual practices, including religion, may become increasingly essential to that individual. Physical, emotional, and social demands are all intertwined with spiritual need.

When caring for someone who is dying, it is critical to consider their spiritual well-being and to provide them with spiritual support.

What is spiritual distress?

Spiritual well-being is frequently defined as a sense of calm and tranquillity. In certain cases, spiritual discomfort – also known as spiritual anguish or suffering – can arise when individuals are unable to discover sources of meaning and purpose in their lives, such as hope, love, peace, comfort, strength, and connection. This discomfort might have a negative impact on their physical and mental health as well. Patients, as well as their families and friends, might experience spiritual pain as a result of their terminal disease.

How can I assess someone’s spiritual needs?

Encourage them to express their feelings by asking them how they’re feeling. If someone meets any of the following criteria, they may have unfulfilled spiritual needs:

  • Searching for meaning, for example, by asking questions such as “Why is this happening?” and “Why me?” as well as “Who am I?” and “How will I be remembered?” withdrawing and isolating themselves
  • Fear of being alone
  • Denying treatment
  • Stating that they are terrified or anxious

When it comes to talking about spirituality with their patients, many health and social care professionals find it difficult. Among the reasons for this are the following:

  • Due to a lack of training, a lack of knowledge about what to say, and the fear of saying anything incorrect,
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There are a variety of evaluation tools available to help you begin the dialogue.

For example, one of them is the HOPE tool, which is based on the following questions: Hope

  • Tell me about the things that give you hope, strength, comfort, or calm.

Religion that is organized

  • Do you practice a religion or believe in something? What is the significance of your religious or spiritual beliefs to you?

Spirituality and rituals that are unique to the individual

  • Which of your activities provides you a feeling of meaning and purpose in life
  • How does this contribute to your sense of self
  • And how does this contribute to your sense of belonging

The implications for medical treatment and quality of life concerns

  • Have you been unable to participate in activities that give your life meaning and purpose because you are ill? What are some of the specific practices that we should be aware of when providing for your care?

Doing the exam on yourself may be beneficial if you are confused about what spirituality is or if you are uncomfortable talking about it with others. It can assist you in identifying and exploring your own spiritual beliefs and practices. There are different types of evaluations available, such as FICA (faith, importance, community, address). The HOPE and FICA assessments from Queen’s University are available for download in PDF format (Canada). Make an effort to recognize that many patients may not comprehend what spirituality is or what it means to them.

How can I provide spiritual care?

Although all health and social care professionals are capable of providing spiritual care, some patients will require additional assistance from specialists such as chaplains or religious leaders. Everyone has a unique set of requirements. Inquire with your patient about what is important to them and what you can do to assist them. Some people may find that carrying out their own spiritual practice fully satisfies all of their spiritual requirements. Others may require practical assistance in order to complete the tasks that are important to them as their illness progresses.

  1. Some folks will want more assistance and may wish to speak with you about their spiritual issues.
  2. Listen attentively without passing judgment or disregarding their worries or suggestions.
  3. If you don’t feel comfortable conducting these discussions, get the assistance of an experienced colleague or an expert such as a chaplain.
  4. Allow time for listening, thinking, and silence to take place.
  5. This may involve engaging in activities they like, journaling about their thoughts and feelings, and finding methods to relax, such as listening to music or getting a massage to relieve stress.
  6. You may propose to the patient that he or she read our material on emotional and spiritual suffering.

What other support is available?

Inquire with the individual whether they require any more assistance. If they practice a religion, they may choose to consult with a religious leader. A chaplaincy service may be available through the local hospital, hospice, or palliative care team. Chaplains are highly trained professionals who work with people of various religious backgrounds and none to help them discover meaning and explore what is important to them.

A psychologist or therapist, a professional palliative care social worker, or attending a local support group may also be beneficial in dealing with your feelings.

Taking care of yourself

Caring for someone who is suffering from a terminal disease may be quite taxing. As a result, you may find yourself asking concerns about your own mortality and beliefs, as well as searching for meaning and purpose in your life. Set aside some time each week to care for your own spiritual well-being. Spiritual self-care might include activities such as spending time with family and friends, meditation, physical activity, reading, spending time in nature, and adhering to religious rituals, among other things.

Useful resources

Spiritual care at the end of life: a systematic literature review (from the Department of Health and Social Care)Association of Hospital and Palliative Care Chaplains (from the Association of Hospital and Palliative Care Chaplains)Online learning resource for health professionals (from the Department of Health and Social Care) the spiritual assessment instrument from Queen’s University is available in PDF format.

Integration of Spiritual Needs into Patient Care

Basem Abbas Al Ubaidi, Consultant Family Physician, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Bahrain, Assistant professor in Arabian Gulf University (AGU), Bahrain, E-mail:[email protected], is the corresponding author. Al Ubaidi BA is a citation (2017) Spiritual needs are taken into consideration when providing patient care. The Journal of Family Medicine and Community Health 3:056. doi:10.23937/2469-5793/1510056. Al Ubaidi BA has copyright protection for the year 2017. A Creative Commons Attribution License, which enables unlimited use, distribution, and reproduction in any form as long as the original author and source are acknowledged, is used to share and reproduce this open-access publication.

Family medicine should be recognized for providing full, holistic patient care that includes spiritual well-being.

People in crisis think that spiritual strength is crucial for their bodily and emotional wellbeing, which is why they seek help.

Religion is extremely essential in Arab nations for the belief, values, and confidence in destiny of the population, as well as for improving coping and healing.

A spiritual medicine certification program is required for physicians who want to help patients who are suffering from chronic pain, palliative care, end-of-life care, hospitalization, acute crises, worsening illness or persistent health conditions such as cancer, incurable disease, mental illness, domestic violence, or broken relationships.

In various categories of health, such as physical, mental, physiological, and behavioral health statuses, there are unfavorable associations between improper patient’s spirituality and health in general.

The effects on the mental health include that it will worsen anxiety and sleeplessness as well as sadness and low self-esteem.

In contrast, it will enhance drug abuse, alcohol use, smoking addiction, and other forms of negative conduct in the behavioral domain.

Spirituality is a diverse, multidimensional human experience that encompasses both religious and nonreligious beliefs and activities.

The cognitive refers to the mental framework, which is composed of meaning, purpose, truth beliefs, and values, among other components.

Take a look at Figure 1.

The sorts of connections are also characteristics of an individual’s inner resources (experiential).

People discover spirituality in a variety of ways, including through religion or through connection to scientific truth.

Even while numerous sorts of religious organizations attempt to provide answers to mankind’s spiritual issues, each has created its own set of beliefs, doctrines, and practices.

A negative impact on both physical and mental health is caused by this.

In order to assess a patient’s spirituality and its potential impact on his or her health, a variety of history tools are available.

The physician should pay close attention to the patient’s spiritual needs and empathize with them, as well as provide them with compassionate support.

The physician should keep a record of any helpful spiritual viewpoints that may come in handy in the future.

Take a look at Table 3.

Patients from the Muslim community engage in religious rituals that may have an impact on their acute or chronic health state.

This has an impact on glucose control as well as other biological variables.

Strict dietary regulations should be subjected to study in order to identify their effects on health.

Furthermore, Muslims believe that praying regularly helps to improve one’s spiritual health.

“Do you engage in any spiritual practices?” (for example, praying, meditating, listening to music, or reading sacred texts) “Are you a member of a religious community?” (“(for example, a home visiting program, a food pantry, or a health screening program?)?” 3.


Physicians that employ and incorporate spiritual medicine will build trust and rapport with their patients, as well as strengthen the patient-doctor connection.

During a severe crisis, patients will become aware of their spiritual requirements and look for helpful options for healing and coping with their situation.

There have been numerous studies conducted to demonstrate the positive impact of multidisciplinary spiritual and compassionate care for patients.

While many academics continue to investigate patients’ perspectives on their spiritual health experiences.

Patients will be comforted by the magical abilities of the spiritual arts, which will focus on patient-centeredness, cooperative-partnership, and the healing relationship.

As physicians, we must integrate spirituality into medical practice while maintaining the principle of “doing no harm” and preserving the autonomy, freedom of thought, and belief of the patient. None. None. None.

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