Interview Analysis: Spiritual Needs Assessment
Part I: Interview
Spiritual assessment is crucial in healthcare settings. For the purpose of this assessment, a tool with an acronym ‘FAMILY’ has been created to help guide the evaluation of the client’s spiritual needs. ‘F’ means family background regarding religious matters.’ A’ implies the achievements that the patient considers to have attained due to his/her spiritual live. ‘M’ denotes the morality issues the patient regards to be important because of religion.’ I’ signifies the interpretation of the religion and its influence on health. ‘L’ indicates the way the spiritual life has inspired the lifestyle decisions of the patient, and ‘Y’ suggests a question that asks the patient about ‘your interpretation of spirituality, wellness and health care providers.’ The first section includes ‘FAMILY’ questions that analyze the spiritual life of a 56-year-old African-American male, a Seventh-day Adventist who consents to the interview after a visit to his residence.
‘F’ Family Background and Spirituality
What were the spiritual beliefs of your grandparents and your parents?
I am not fully aware of the spiritual life of my grandparents because I was born after they had died. My father told me that my paternal grandmother used to be a Catholic. All my aunts and uncles from the paternal side chose to follow her path. My parents decided to be Seventh-day Adventists after my father had received the gospel when he was at work.
How has your family faith influenced your household?
My family values God. I usually encourage my wife and my children to pray to God every time they do their daily activities. In the evenings, we read the word of God, sing and pray before going to bed. We also pray before we take our meals and every time something good happens in the family.
‘A’ Achievements Owing to Spirituality
What is your greatest achievement owing to your faith?
Everything we have is owing to God. When we were homeless, God enabled us to get this house. In addition, I faced a problem concerning paying university fees for my two children; however, God opened ways and now, I can sustain them despite the small student loans they have taken. We also thank God for our health because none of us has been severely ill for four years despite minor diseases.
What do you plan to achieve and how will your faith help you in the achievement?
We are planning many things as a family. First, we pray to God to continue keeping us healthy as we have always been. Second, we hope he will help our children successfully graduate from university and maintain their values as Christians.
‘M’ Spirituality and Moral issues
How does your spirituality shape your values as a person in the society?
My spiritual life has enabled me to treat others with respect. It has also helped me improve my communication skills that have been instrumental in enhancing my association with others. My SDA faith has assisted me in becoming a family counselor through the program of family life.
How has your spiritual life changed the perceptions of people about you?
I cannot tell how people perceive me. That is for them to say when you ask them. However, many people thank me for the kindness and humility that I usually project when interacting with them. I learned these values from the Bible, and they have helped me create healthy relationships.
‘I’ Interpretation of Religion and Its Influence on Heath
What is a proper spiritual life from your perspective?
In my opinion, the Seventh-day Adventist is the most appropriate religion since it has enabled me to worship God, value my life, respect others, and rest on the Sabbath day. This faith has also enabled me to understand the fundamental aspects such as stewardship, spirit of prophecy, and health which have been instrumental in improving both my physical and psychological life.
How has your spiritual life affected your health?
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has given me much knowledge about health, which has made a significant impact to my health. It teaches be healthy using an acronym ‘NEW START.’ N means nutrition which has taught me to follow the advice on the food pyramid (The client showed me the food pyramid that had more carbohydrates at the base, then vegetables, dairy products, meat, and finally, oils and fats). E suggests exercise, and I jog every morning and evening to keep healthy. W indicates water, and I drink six to eight glasses a day. S signifies sunlight, and it has taught me to bask in the sun for at least ten minutes a day. The first T means temperance. This aspect has been crucial in my life because it has enabled me to avoid extremes in doing my activities. A is air, and you can see this house has proper ventilation with trees outside to let me receive enough oxygen. R denotes rest, and it has enabled me to relax after work as well as on the Sabbath day. The last T is trusting in God, and I possess absolute faith in God and His control over my life.
How has your spiritual life shaped your lifestyle in general?
From my previous responses, it is evident that my spiritual life influences every decision I make. The first one is my interaction with people. My Christian life has enabled me to choose friends that have similar characteristics because it is against associating with those who do not believe in God. However, it has also enabled me to preach and encourage those who do not know God to seek him. Furthermore, my spiritual life has helped me organize my schedule from the health lessons that God has enabled me to learn in church. I can plan my activities appropriately and balance my life to address my needs as well as the needs of my family and serve God.
How do you compare your lifestyle to the ideal one that you should have according to your faith?
I do not think I am perfect because my faith teaches me that all of us have sinned. However, I hope to get to heaven and live a perfect lifestyle there.
‘Y’ Your Interpretation of Spirituality Regarding Wellness and HealthCare Providers
How would you prefer your healthcare providers to treat your spiritual aspect of life?
I have never put it into consideration. In my opinion, a doctor who loves God is the one who provides a proper care. When I experience minor conditions such as common colds or allergies, I usually visit my doctor goes to the same church. However, if other secular doctors attend to me, I pray that God uses them.
What is your view of wellness and illness about spirituality?
God is a giver of health. Since human beings fell in the Garden of Eden, diseases became part of us. Therefore, if any disease attacks me, I will not be afraid or blame God because I know I am a fallen human being. God who saved me on the cross will defeat these diseases in the end. God has given us directions on how to live to avoid diseases as I explained to you earlier.
Part II: Analysis
The ‘FAMILY’ assessment tool used in the interview elicited various responses instrumental in analyzing the view of the patient on life and health. The patient was a Seventh-Day Adventist man of 56 years old who was not ill at the time of the interview. He was married and had a son and a daughter who were in university. This section analyzes the conversation progress, the gaps noted, barriers identified and the ways to address them, spiritual experience, the importance of the FAMILY tool, and the connection of stress to illnesses.
The interview progressed as it was expected. The man was calm during the interview and showed no signs of boredom. When receiving questions, the interviewee concentrated and maintained eye contact. He only turned his eyes away after answering each question. This behavior was significant since a proper concentration in a calm environment increases understanding (Mori, Naghsh, & Tezuka, 2014).
Before I finished the Y section of the FAMILY tool, the man had put on the Christian music, which we were listening until the interview ended. The music distracted me during the interview, but the interviewee initially seemed to be satisfied with it. I could not ask him to put it off since I was in his house. The music later distracted his concentration, which made him answer shortly as compared to the previous ones. Next time, I will feel free to ask my interviewees in a kind manner to stop anything that might interfere with the interview process. However, I will allow them to do whatever they wish since the autonomy will make them feel respected (Felsen, Castelo, & Reiner, 2013).
Excluding music, which the man switched off at the end of the assessment, no barriers were experienced during the process. The interviewee was glad answering the questions. At the end of the interview, he asked me whether I had any questions left, which indicated that he still wanted to continue the conversation. The tool had fewer questions and took less time. Consequently, it was completed adequately without any major challenges. However, the interview includes personal questions, and some people do not like sharing such information. Therefore, I will use this method to other subjects to examine their reaction.
Before the assessment, the man welcomed and prayed. I could read humility from his reaction to my greetings. When he was explaining his experiences regarding the faith and health in Seventh-day Adventist church, I was almost convinced to join the denomination. He is an engineer, and he has a grasp of the food pyramid and body exercise, which are necessary for overall healthy living (Gill, Ruiz-Lopez, Fernandez-Gonzalez, & de Victoria, 2014). The connection of these habits with his spiritual life influenced me to reconsider my relationship with God.
The ‘FAMILY’ tool is essential in examining the spiritual needs of the patient in connection with his/her health. It can enable to identify moral behavior in patients that affects their health so that I can initiate appropriate interventions. For instance, the Y section of tool presents the connection of spirituality to wellness, illness, and health seeking behavior, which can elicit necessary information that I can use in the diagnosis of patients.
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Finally, I noticed that the spiritual life of the man enabled him to avoid stressful situations. Moreover, he has a positive outlook on illnesses. For example, when being asked about his perception of sickness, he answered it is a normal occurrence, and he would not feel bad if he found out that he had a disease.
From the evaluation of the ‘FAMILY’ assessment tool, it is apparent that the tool is important in the comprehensive analysis of the patients’ spiritual life. It not only examines the spiritual needs but also prompts the patients to elicit responses regarding their behavior, which can help a healthcare provider to identify their risk factors. In this case, the ‘FAMILY’ tool was used efficiently and analyzed the needs of the patient adequately. In addition, the patient cooperated as expected, which contributed to the efficient utilization of the FAMILY tool.