Evaluation of the FICA Tool for Spiritual Assessment

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010 Aug;40(2):163-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.12.019. Epub 2010 Jul 8.


Context: The National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care includes spiritual care as one of the eight clinical practice domains. There are very few standardized spirituality history tools.

Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to test the feasibility for the Faith, Importance and Influence, Community, and Address (FICA) Spiritual History Tool in clinical settings. Correlates between the FICA qualitative data and quality of life (QOL) quantitative data also were examined to provide additional insight into spiritual concerns.

Methods: The framework of the FICA tool includes Faith or belief, Importance of spirituality, individual's spiritual Community, and interventions to Address spiritual needs. Patients with solid tumors were recruited from ambulatory clinics of a comprehensive cancer center. Items assessing aspects of spirituality within the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy QOL tools were used, and all patients were assessed using the FICA. The sample (n=76) had a mean age of 57, and almost half were of diverse religions.

Results: Most patients rated faith or belief as very important in their lives (mean 8.4; 0-10 scale). FICA quantitative ratings and qualitative comments were closely correlated with items from the QOL tools assessing aspects of spirituality.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that the FICA tool is a feasible tool for clinical assessment of spirituality. Addressing spiritual needs and concerns in clinical settings is critical in enhancing QOL. Additional use and evaluation by clinicians of the FICA Spiritual Assessment Tool in usual practice settings are needed.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Religion*
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires