Spiritual Assessment

Linda Ross, Lucy Grimwade, Sarah Eagger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


For many people the spiritual dimension is an important anchor as they seek to navigate life’s often turbulent journey. In the literature the spiritual dimension has long been regarded as the unifying force that holds everything else together (Ross 1997, Swinton 2020). If it is important when people are well, it will be just as important, if not more so, when they are ill. This chapter focuses specifically on people with mental illnesses who may benefit from an assessment of their spiritual needs. In order to carry out any assessment it is important to know what is being assessed. We, therefore, begin this chapter by exploring the nature of spirituality. We ask ‘why’ psychiatric patients’ spiritual needs should be addressed, before moving on to look at ‘how’, ‘who’ and ‘when’ (Koenig, 2013). We explore some of the thorny issues and considerations arising when conducting such an assessment. Finally, we consider what happens after the assessment. If you do not have time to read the entire chapter but are looking for a quick guide on how to include a spiritual assessment, we would direct you to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) ‘Spirituality and mental health’ leaflet (Cook and Grimwade, 2021).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpirituality and Psychiatry
EditorsChristopher C. H. Cook, Andrew Powell
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-1911623311
ISBN (Print)978-1911623304
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022


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