Nursing spiritual assessment instruments in adult patients: a narrative literature review

Nursing spiritual assessment instruments in adult patients: a narrative literature review


  • Chiara Cosentino University of Parma
  • Rachel A. Harrad Department of Psychology, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
  • Francesco Sulla DEpartment f Medicine and Surgery, university of Parma; Department of Education and Humanities, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • Maria Bertuol Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma
  • Leopoldo Sarli Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma
  • Giovanna Artioli Azienda USL -IRCCS, Reggio Emilia


Spirituality, spiritual assessment, nursing, oncological patients, spiritual needs, narrative review, instruments


Background and aim of the work: Spiritual care in nursing is a critical part of providing holistic care. Whilst patients might desire spiritual care and value the opportunities that nurses take to engage with them to meet their spiritual needs, research suggests that nurses do not consistently engage in spiritual care with their patients. To identify instruments available to nurses to assess spirituality in different patient groups and highlight the characteristics and psychometric properties of these instruments. Method: A narrative literature review of the relevant literature published after 2008 was carried out in CINAHL, PsycINFO, MEDLINE and Google scholar databases in October 2020. Narrative review synthesized key findings and grouped instruments into macro areas by content. Results: After the screening, based on inclusion criteria, 31 articles were identified. 17 instruments were identified and divided into 4 macro areas: wellbeing (N = 4), attitude (N = 5) needs (N =6) and multiple domains (N = 2). Conclusions: This review enables an increased awareness of the variety of instruments available to aid spiritual care and therefore increase their use within nurse clinical practice. The widening of the patient group to be considered (i.e., non-oncological) may have a significant impact on the practice, causing professionals to reflect on the necessity to investigate spiritual needs even at an early stage of a disease process. Future studies should aim to test reliability and validity of existing instruments rather than develop further ones.


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How to Cite

Nursing spiritual assessment instruments in adult patients: a narrative literature review. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2020 Nov. 30 [cited 2024 Jun. 24];91(12-S):e2020015. Available from: