Taking spiritual history in clinical practice: a systematic review of instruments

Explore (NY). May-Jun 2013;9(3):159-70. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2013.02.004.

Abstract

Background: To facilitate the addressing of spirituality in clinical practice, several authors have created instruments for obtaining a spiritual history. However, in only a few studies have authors compared these instruments. The aim of this study was to compare the most commonly used instruments for taking a spiritual history in a clinical setting.

Methods: A systematic review of spiritual history assessment was conducted in five stages: identification of instruments used in the literature (databases searching); relevant articles from title and initial abstract review; exclusion and Inclusion criteria; full text retrieval and final analysis of each instrument.

Results: A total of 2,641 articles were retrieved and after the analysis, 25 instruments were included. The authors independently evaluated each instrument on 16 different aspects. The instruments with the greatest scores in the final analysis were FICA, SPIRITual History, FAITH, HOPE, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Concerning all 25 instruments, 20 of 25 inquire about the influence of spirituality on a person's life and 17 address religious coping. Nevertheless, only four inquire about medical practices not allowed, six deal with terminal events, nine have mnemonics to facilitate their use, and five were validated.

Conclusions: FICA, SPIRITual History, FAITH, HOPE, and Royal College of Psychiatrists scored higher in our analysis. The use of each instrument must be individualized, according to the professional reality, time available, patient profile, and settings.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Culture*
  • Humans
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Spirituality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*