An integrative review of spiritual assessment: implications for nursing management


  • Peter Draper BSc, PhD, Cert Ed, Dip Theol. Min, RN, RNT, FRSA, FEANS, FHEA

    Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Corresponding author
    • Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, Cottingham, UK
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Peter Draper

Faculty of Health and Social Care

University of Hull






To describe the current ‘state of the art’ in relation to spiritual assessment, focusing on quantitative, qualitative and generic approaches; to explore the professional implications of spiritual assessment; and to make practical recommendations to managers seeking to promote spiritual assessment in their places of work.


The paper integrates aspects of a recent systematic review of quantitative approaches to measuring spirituality and a recent meta-synthesis of qualitative research into client perspectives of spiritual needs in health and the principles of generic assessment, before drawing on the wider literature to discuss a number of professional implications and making recommendations to nurse managers.

Implications for nursing management

The issues to emerge from this paper are (1) that spiritual assessment is an increasingly important issue for nursing practice, (2) that the range of reliable and valid quantitative instruments for use in clinical practice is limited, (3) that there is overlap in the domains and categories of spirituality identified by quantitative and qualitative researchers, and (4) that nurse managers seeking to introduce spiritual assessment will do so in the context of a professional debate about the relevance of spirituality to contemporary practice.