Sample Term Paper on Spirituality and Health

Spirituality and Health


Spirituality is a broad concept that lacks a single inclusive definition but is considered an essential aspect of people’s lives. It is associated with the inmost values and meaning by which people live and holds the notion of a definite or an apparent immaterial realism. It may be part of a belief system such as religion or self-developed way of coping with adversity. In the past centuries, spirituality and health have been interdependent and related in various ways among different population groups (Koenig, 2012). The application of technology in modern day medicine has however shifted the focus from a care-service oriented model to a cure-oriented one. An attempt to balance between the two in healthcare provision would bring out a holistic approach that caters for the physical, spiritual, social and emotional needs of the patients.

 Integration of spirituality in patients cares to involve promotion of interpersonal relationships, personal integrity and searching for meaning. Treatment of mental health is particularly one that calls for an understanding of the spiritual needs of the patient and their families (Hadzic, 2011). The ability of the health care provider to be empathetic to the patient is crucial in the healing process. Acknowledging the patient’s traditional and cultural beliefs and responding to them is a significant part of spiritual care and aid the process of recovery. It is crucial for the physician and healthcare to recognize the individuals need for the meaning of the circumstance they are in and affirm their worth.

The WHO definition of health is a state being in complete mental, physical and social well-being as opposed to the simple lack of disease. In achieving this, there is increased need to incorporate a multidimensional tactic that encompasses all needs of the patient. In some populations, spiritual healing is held in high regard and plays a huge role in individual’s lives. For instance, yoga, reiki, and meditation are spiritual practices that have their roots in different cultures but are essential in achieving a positive state of health. These practices are associated with a healthy state of mind.

Some organizations mandate spiritual assessment to create a comprehensive healthcare system. For instance, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires that all patients undergo spiritual assessment. The content of the assessment is a decision left to the healthcare organization, but as a requirement, the individuals assessing the patients must have approved credentials. Some of the information obtained during the assessments include the patient’s and family denomination, spiritual practices and beliefs. The hospitals are also required to provide access to facilities that allow religious freedom and avail services that meet individual spiritual needs.

Over the years, there has been researching relating spirituality and health, but most of the researchers’ focused their work on mental health in particular (Koenig, 2012). Given that spirituality involves social, psychological, and behavioral aspects that are related to the state of mind, it would be expected that psychologists and psychiatrists integrate it in treatment. However, there is not the case as most physicians do not find it challenging to articulate what spirituality is and thus find it difficult to identify the needs of their patients. The ability of the physician to relate to the spiritual situation of their patient other than offer guidance based on their knowledge is essential to recovery.

Mental health is dual-sided with one dimension being the presence of a well-controlled personality the make a meaningful and productive contribution to the society and the other absence of mental illness (Hadzic, 2011). It encompasses a wide range of elements that include the ability to take responsibility for one’s actions, anger management, high frustration tolerance level, social interaction, ability to accept uncertainties among other psychological capabilities. To ensure the spiritual needs of the patient are catered for, it is essential that a systematic approach of assessment be used to identify the specific needs. This include needs of family members their values and beliefs.

During the spiritual care, the client is assured of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the process. The clients are well informed and involved in the entire plan which provides them with a sense of control which is reassuring and comforting. Healthcare providers begin the process by assessing the spiritual status of the individual and identifying the need (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). With the patient’s contribution, they then plan and agree on the goals for the actions to be taken. On making the decision, the intervention process begins, and the plan is implemented. On completion, the physician evaluates the status of the individual after the intervention.

Patients with mental conditions such as depression often go through a phase of denial and find it difficult to accept their conditions. Consequently, spiritual matters should be assimilated in psychotherapy which helps the patient come to terms with their condition, accept and find positivism in life. During this process, family members and people of shared spiritual beliefs are needed to provide support to the patient, and they, therefore, need guidance on how to do so. In summary, besides the need to cure disease and stay infirmly free, it is necessary to address the spiritual needs of patients to attain a holistic state of health.


Hadzic, M. (2011). Spirituality and Mental Health: Current Research and Future Directions. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 13(4), 223-235. doi:10.1080/19349637.2011.616080

Koenig, H. G. (2012). Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications. ISRN Psychiatry, 2012, 1-33. doi:10.5402/2012/278730

Timmins, F., & Caldeira, S. (2017). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standard, 31(29), 47-53. doi:10.7748/ns.2017.e10312