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Spiritual Beliefs and Preferences - Evaluating a Patient's Spiritual Needs

Does the Joint Commission specify what needs to be included in a spiritual assessment?  

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

It is important that the spiritual needs, beliefs, values and preferences be evaluated for patients receiving psychosocial services to treat alcoholism or other substance use disorders and those receiving end-of-life care. Each organization would determine how these needs will be identified as our standards do not define such elements. Examples to consider - but not prescriptively required by The Joint Commission - may include the following questions directed to the patient or his/her family:
  • Who or what provides the patient with strength and hope?
  • Does the patient use prayer in their life?
  • How does the patient express their spirituality?
  • How would the patient describe their philosophy of life?
  • What type of spiritual/religious support does the patient desire?
  • What is the name of the patient's clergy, ministers, chaplains, pastor, rabbi?
  • What does suffering mean to the patient?
  • What does dying mean to the patient?
  • What are the patient's spiritual goals?
  • Is there a role of church/synagogue in the patient's life?
  • How does your faith help the patient cope with illness?
  • How does the patient keep going day after day?
  • What helps the patient get through this health care experience?
  • How has illness affected the patient and his/her family?
Manual: Home Care
Chapter: Provision of Care Treatment and Services PC
Last reviewed by Standards Interpretation: July 19, 2022 Represents the most recent date that the FAQ was reviewed (e.g. annual review).
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on July 19, 2022 with update notes of: Review only, FAQ is current Types of changes and an explanation of change type: Editorial changes only: Format changes only. No changes to content. | Review only, FAQ is current: Periodic review completed, no changes to content. | Reflects new or updated requirements: Changes represent new or revised requirements.

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