Spiritual care (Medical care); Holistic medicine; Patients--Religious life; Spiritual life; Medical personnel and patient


The purpose of this study was to examine students’ perceptions of spiritual history assessment and/or the experience of administering the FICA© with an adult client in an on-campus clinic. A retrospective survey was completed by 13 second year occupational therapy students enrolled in a clinic class. Of the 13 respondents, ten were able to implement the FICA©. Data collection included: demographic information; Likert scaled questions; and open and close-ended questions. Quantitative data were analyzed and the results indicated an increase in respondents’ confidence in administering a spiritual history assessment and discussing a client’s spiritual history. Seven of ten respondents noted increased rapport. A phenomenological framework was used to analyze the qualitative data. Qualitative topics that emerged from the data included: Increased understanding of their client; holistic care; scope of practice; increased confidence broaching the subject of spirituality; understanding client motivation; rapport; time constraints; respondent apprehension about religion; difficulty with spiritual history assessment due to client limitations; and lack of client interest in engaging in a spiritual history discussion. This study suggests when occupational therapy students are given an opportunity to consider and/or implement a spiritual history assessment those students become confident with such assessments. More importantly, they gain experience with the dilemmas of dealing with client spiritual history in practice which could help them become more client-centered, holistic occupational therapy practitioners.

First Advisor

Kay Robbins

Second Advisor

Yvonne Swinth

Third Advisor

George Tomlin

Date of Completion

Spring 2012

Degree Type







Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Date of Award



Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound

P_KelsoWright.pdf (72 kB)
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