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Patient’s Spiritual Needs Assessment Tool
The following assessment tool can be applied to evaluate the spiritual needs of a patient and recovery from a mental disorder. The tool has seven items as indicated below:
- Which religion were you introduced to while you were growing up?
- Was your family so much into the religion?
- Are you still practicing religion?
- Are you convinced of there being a higher power in religion?
- Can you state some of the significant thoughts and experiences this higher power has had in your life?
- Which word best defines this higher power in your opinion: friendly or unfriendly; loving or harsh?
- Do you consider yourself spiritual?
Friend’s Assessment Responses
The application of this assessment tool to my friend yielded the following results: my friend was introduced to Christianity though without much affiliation. He is still practicing Christianity. Though he is not so much into it, he is convinced that there is a higher power in Christianity. Apparently, he reported that he felt a general psychological uplift through the high power of religion. He stated that the higher power was friendly and loving, and that is why he was still practicing Christianity. All the same, he was not so sure whether he was spiritual or not.
From my friend, it was very important to note that spirituality influenced mental balance and the way we see things. The way we see things determines our actions. What went well was the fact that all intended information was gathered. This was mainly attributed to the indirect nature of the questions, which sought for a deeper understanding of the relationship between spirituality and mental wellbeing. However, the questions could mainly be used as guidelines in getting full assessment results. It is not possible to fully rely on the patient for the information. While I relied on my friend to get all the answers, future assessment may require the interviewer’s discretion in writing answers to some questions through observation and conclusions from the patient’s presentation and comments on spirituality. For instance, sometimes a patient may not freely give the correct answer as to whether he/she is spiritual or not. On this occasion, the patient’s comments from previous questions can be used to arrive at the correct assessment and response.
Having known my friend, an attempt to get some deeper details created some discomfort. Due to different denominations in Christianity, matters of practice and the conviction of a high power got a somewhat lesser interest in response. Though the assessment tool was completed, some questions like these could easily get an answer just for the purposes of response. In future, the questions could only be used as a guideline and can be rephrased when necessary in order to receive the most succinct answer. For example, question 2 could be rephrased, “Did it take long for you to get to know the most important things about Christianity?” In this way, the family’s commitment could be inferred from the response given by the patient.
My friend actually made a lot of reference to God, but he lacked a complete and true picture of the religion he was attached to. There was a lot expectation in his life but with little progress on spiritual matters. The failure to realize these expectations was a humiliating affair to him and somehow caused some mental disturbance. This assessment tool is very useful in the sense that it identifies the shortcomings in a patient’s spirituality and addresses them, thus creating a spiritual balance, which is important for the body, soul and mind of a patient so as to exhibit a normal behavioral pattern.