Often, a patient's spiritual assessment can be incorporated into the "bio-psycho-social-spiritual" patient history.
Introducing the topic can be accomplished by commenting that many patients have spiritual or religious beliefs important in their perceptions of illness and their preferred modes of treatment. The health care professional can then add that, if it is not upsetting to comment, knowing the spiritual or religious beliefs could be helpful during the medical assistance.
Some find it helpful to have a clear approach or structure in mind when opening a discussion on spirituality with a patient or taking a spiritual history. The HOPE questions are a teaching tool to help begin the process of incorporating a spiritual assessment into the patient interview.
The HOPE questions:
H: Sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love, and connection.
O: Organized religion.
P: Personal spirituality and practices.
E: Effects on medical care and end-of-life issues.