In a clinical setting we are able to, with healthcare partners, explore their spiritual history using the FICA assessment tool developed by Dr Christina Pulchalski and colleagues in 1996. It identifies key elements to assist clinicians in understanding the spiritual needs of their health partners. The assessment tool covers four domains:
Faith, Belief meaning
Exploring personal beliefs and what gives health partners meaning in their lives
Importance and influence
Understanding the importance of faith and the influence of health partners beliefs on coping with stress and making decisions regarding their health.
Exploring if health partners belong to a spiritual community
Collating the information from the history and asking health partners how this can be best used to address their health and spiritual needs.
We may find in this exploration, health partners may not belong to a spiritual group or religion, but do have values and beliefs that have guided and supported them in their hardest times. They may also relate to spiritual virtues and needs such as connection, hope, love and having a sense of meaning and purpose but have not considered these as aspects of spirituality because the links to spirituality have never been made. We may also find, many people value spirituality in their lives, and this manifests in different ways from the more common forms we are familiar to relating spirituality with, such as yoga, religion or mindfulness.
Honouring and Serving,
Simran K. Rattan MD
Content support Maria Peach