Q) What is your age?
I’m a twenty-six-year-old.
Q) Have you had leukemia for a long time?
When I was seventeen years old, I was diagnosed for the first time. The cancer was only in its early stages, so the doctors prescribed urgent radiation treatment followed by intensive chemotherapy. They seemed to have gotten everything. However, I went into remission a year ago.
Q) How did you come up with the idea to fix your spiritual issue?
To be frank, I assumed it was all a ruse. My mother, on the other hand, was desperate to do something, so my doctor recommended spiritual evaluation. I wasn’t sure it would work.
I didn’t think it would work. I was very pessimistic about it but I can tell you it really does help. It sounds like a joke but it’s not like I went to a quack. I was under the care of a qualified professional who used controlled assessment tools.
Q) How do you think it has helped you?
Well it opens you up to experience things you never thought you could have. I believed I was dying and there was nothing anybody could do about it. I mean to think that raw faith can cure you of something so terrible is borderline silliness but it’s a combination of faith and medicine: a unique case of mind over matter, if you will.
Q) Have you found any specific spiritual assessment tool helpful?
We tried out different things such as the Open Invite, the FICA and the HOPE questions and to be honest the latter helped a lot. The word “hope” probably did the trick. But honestly, it worked because I opened my aura to possibilities and I started getting better.
An analysis of the former interview gives us a keen insight to the realm of spiritual assessment. For the tight of mind this term proves to be nothing more than a sack of lies yielded to bring in money from desperate clients. However, studies show that spiritual assessment proves to be successful for more people than none. As describe by the interviewee, it is a way of opening oneself up for endless possibilities. It is a proper field which is practiced and studied by many. The process of assessment includes the presence of a trained professional who is licensed to take the patient through a controlled therapeutic procedure, monitored by regulated tests. These include (as discussed above): Open Invite, FICA and HOPE questions (Borneman, 2010). Shedding light on one of these, hope questions, we see that each letter stands for a concept of discussion: H-sources of hope, comfort, and support; O-organized religion; P-personal spirituality practices; E-effects of medical decisions and care. These questions are a focal point to center the thoughts and decisions of the patient. These are highly approved of and used during the spiritual assessment cycle. This process provides the medical care giver, with the opportunity to show support for their patient and build a trustworthy relationship on the bases of empathetic listening, documentation of spiritual preferences and experiences and to get an idea of the patient’s faith and beliefs (Anandarajah, 2001). Once this data is obtained, the physician then incorporates it into the treatment plan. Furthermore, this form of assessment is therapeutically very helpful for the patient. It’s a common psychological belief that the mind has more control over the healing process than the body itself. If the mind and in turn the spirit is not motivated, the healing process takes longer and in certain cases never takes place at all. However, if it is motivated then the healing begins to get faster. Spiritual assessment in element is the motivation of the mind. Once, the client believes that they are getting to a state of better health, it starts happening. In spiritual terms this entails the cleansing of one’s aura with positivity (Galek, 2005). Parapsychology looks further into this concept and proves that if a person let’s out positive energies into the universe, he/she is reciprocated with positivity in all aspects of life, in this case medical health. All that be as it may, the medical practitioners still bear a lot of criticism on the use of spiritual assessment, mostly by their own clients. They face several obstacles mainly in form of barriers to broaching the subject of personal spirituality. On a keener insight, we find out that these barriers also include a lack time, experience and patience all owing to the client’s side of the treatment. Physicians also feel that that it is quite difficult for them to identify which patient would be open to the idea of a discussion on spirituality. Though in the long run, spiritual assessment has proved to be a success for patients.
Anandarajah, G., & Hight, E. (2001). Spirituality and medical practice. American family
physician, 63(1), 81-88.
Borneman, T., Ferrell, B., & Puchalski, C. M. (2010). Evaluation of the FICA tool for spiritual
assessment. Journal of pain and symptom management, 40(2), 163-173.
Galek, K., Flannelly, K. J., Vane, A., & Galek, R. M. (2005). Assessing a patient’s spiritual
needs: a comprehensive instrument. Holistic Nursing Practice, 19(2), 62-69.