Advertisement

Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 41–52 | Cite as

Spiritual Assessment in Genetic Counseling

  • Linda M. ReisEmail author
  • Robert Baumiller
  • William Scrivener
  • Geoffrey Yager
  • Nancy Steinberg Warren
Original Research

One hundred and twenty seven full members of the National Society of Genetic Counselors participated in this study exploring current spiritual assessment practices of genetic counselors and reactions to a spiritual assessment tool. While 60% of genetic counselors reported they had performed a spiritual assessment within the past year, fewer than 8.7% of these counselors assessed spirituality in more than half of their sessions. Counselors reporting high perceived relevance of spiritual assessment performed an assessment more frequently than those reporting a low perceived relevance. Barriers to spiritual assessment included lack of time, insufficient skills, and uncertainty regarding the role of spiritual assessment within genetic counseling. Almost two-thirds of counselors expressed that having a spiritual assessment tool would increase their ability to elicit relevant information. These data suggest a need for increased training regarding the methods for and relevance of spiritual assessment in genetic counseling. Recommendations for future directions of research are explored.

KEY WORDS:

spirituality genetic counseling spiritual assessment HOPE tool religion psychosocial genetics 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We would like to thank the Bioethics Network of Ohio (BENO) for their generous grant which supported this research. We would also like to thank Gowri Anandarajah and Ellen Hight for granting permission to use the HOPE tool in our study

REFERENCES

  1. Anandarajah, G., & Hight, E. (2001). Spirituality and medical practice: Using the HOPE questions as a practical tool for spiritual assessment. Am Fam Physician, 62(1), 81–89.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, R. R. (2002). Religious Traditions and Prenatal Genetic Counseling. University of Nebraska Medical Center: Munroe-Meyer Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Bash, A. (2004). Spirituality: the emperor’s new clothes? J Clin Nurs, 13(1), 11–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Biesecker, B. B. (2002, November). NSGC Practice Based Symposium- Spirituality in genetic counseling. Strategies in Genetic Counseling: Beyond the Basics, Symposium conducted at annual meeting of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Phoenix, AZ.Google Scholar
  5. Boyle, P. J. (2004). Genetics and pastoral counseling. Second Opin, 11, 4–56.Google Scholar
  6. Brush, B. L., & Daly, P. R. (2000). Assessing spirituality in primary care practice: Is there time? Clin Excell Nurse Pract, 4(2), 67–71.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Ehman, J., Ott, B., Short, T., Ciampa, R., & Hansen-Flaschen, J. (1999). Do patients want physicians to inquire about their spiritual or religious beliefs if they become gravely ill? Arch Intern Med, 159, 1803–1806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fine, B. A., Baker, D. L., Fiddler, M. B., & ABGC Consensus Development Consortium. (1996). Practice-based competencies for accreditation of and training in graduate programs in genetic counseling. J Genetic Couns, 5(3), 113–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fisher, N. L. (Ed.). (1996). Cultural and Ethnic Diversity: A Guide for Genetics Professionals. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  10. Fukuyama, M. A., & Sevig, T. D. (2002). Spirituality in counseling across cultures. Pedersen, P. B., Draguns, J. G., Lonner, W. R., & Trimble, J. E. (Eds.), Counseling Across Cultures. (pp. 273–295). Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  11. Gallup, G. H. (2002). Religion in America. Princeton Religion Research Center, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  12. Greenstreet, W. M. (1999). Teaching spirituality in nursing: A literature review. Nurse Educ Today, 19, 649–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greenwald, D. F., & Harder, D. W. (2003). The dimensions of spirituality. Psychol Rep, 92, 975–980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hall, T. W., & Edwards, K. J. (2002). The Spiritual Assessment Inventory: A theistic model and measure for assessing spiritual development. J Sci Study Religion, 41(2), 341–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hatch, R. L., Burg, M. A., Naberhaus, D. S., & Hellmich, L. K. (1998). The Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale: Development and testing of a new instrument. J Fam Pract, 46(6), 476–486.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Heberlein, T. A., & Baumgartner, R. (1978). Factors affecting response rates to mailed questionnaires: A quantitative analysis of the published literature. Am Sociol Rev, 43(4), 447–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hodge, D. R. (2001). Spiritual Assessment: A review of major qualitative methods and a new framework for assessing spirituality. Soc Work, 46(3), 203–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kaldjian, L. C., Jekel, J. F., & Friedland, G. (1998). End-of-life decisions in HIV-positive patients: The role of spiritual beliefs. AIDS, 12(1), 103–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. King, D. E., & Bushwick, B. (1994). Beliefs and attitudes of hospital inpatients about faith healing and prayer. J Fam Pract, 39(4), 349–352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Koenig, H. (2002). Spirituality in Patient Care: Why, How, When, and What. Templeton Foundation Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  21. Lemmer, C. (2002). Teaching the spiritual dimension of nursing care: A survey of U.S. baccalaureate nursing programs. J Nurs Educ, 41, 482–490.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. MacPherson, I. & Bisset, A. (1995). Not another questionnaire! Eliciting the views of general practitioners. Fam Pract, 12(3), 335–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Martin, C. L. (1994). The impact of topic interest on mail survey response behavior. J Market Res Soc, 36(4), 327–338.Google Scholar
  24. Matz, C. M. (1999). Administration of Web versus paper surveys: Mode effects and response rates. Master’s thesis, University of North Carolina. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED439694).Google Scholar
  25. Maugans, T. A. (1996). The SPIRITual history. Arch Fam Med, 5(1), 11–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McEwen, M. (2004). Analysis of spirituality content in nursing textbooks. J Nurs Educ, 43(10), 20–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McSherry, W., & Ross, L. (2002). Dilemmas of spiritual assessment: considerations for nursing practice. J Adv Nurs, 38(5), 479–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McVay, M. R. (2002). Medicine and spirituality: A simple path to restore compassion in medicine. S D J Med, 55(11), 487–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Mertler, C. A. (2003). Patterns of response and nonresponse from teachers to traditional and Web surveys. Pract Assess Res Eval, 8(22).Google Scholar
  30. Mills, P. J. (2002). Spirituality, religiousness, and health: From research to clinical practice. Ann Behav Med, 24(1), 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Parrott, S., Clark, C., & Mahoney Shannon, K. (2002). National Society of Genetic Counselors: Professional Status Survey 2002. Boston Information Solutions.Google Scholar
  32. Puchalski, C. M., & Romer, A. L. (2000). Taking a spiritual history allows clinicians to understand patients more fully. J Palliat Med, 3, 129–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Salamone, J. (2002, November). Spirituality and its inclusion in genetic counseling practice. Strategies in Genetic Counseling: Beyond the Basics, Symposium conducted at annual meeting of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Phoenix, AZ.Google Scholar
  34. Schwartz, M. D., Hughes, C., Roth, J., Main, D., Peshkin, B. N., Isaacs, C., et al. (2000). Spiritual faith and genetic testing decisions among high-risk breast cancer probands. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 9, 381–385.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Sheehan, K. (2001). E-mail survey response rates: A review. J Comput Mediated Commun, 6(2).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sheehan, K. B., & McMillan, S. J. (1999). Response variation in E-Mail surveys: An exploration. J Advert Res, 39(4), 45–54.Google Scholar
  37. Solomon, D. (2001). Conducting Web-based surveys. Pract Assess Res Eval 7(19).Google Scholar
  38. Swoboda, S., Mühlberger, N., Weitkunat, R., & Schneeweiß, S. (1997). Internet surveys by direct mailing. Soc Sci Comput Rev, 15(3), 242–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Taylor, E. J., Highfield, M. F., & Amenta, M. (1999). Predictors of oncology and hospice nurses’ spiritual care perspectives and practices. Appl Nurs Res, 12(1), 30–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Thomas, S. J. (2004). Using web and paper questionnaires for data-based decision making : from design to interpretation of the results. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Thoresen, C. E., & Harris, A. (2002). Spirituality and health: What’s the evidence and what’s needed. Ann Behav Med, 24(1), 3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Treloar, L. L. (1999). Spiritual care: assessment and intervention. J Christ Nurs, 16(2), 15–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Weil, J. (2000). Psychosocial genetic counseling. Oxford University Press, pp. 50–52.Google Scholar
  44. Wyatt, A., Best, R., Vincent, V., & Edwards, J. (1996, October). Religious convictions in genetic counseling: A survey of genetic counselors. 18th Annual Education Conference, Symposium conducted at annual meeting of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Oakland, California.Google Scholar
  45. Vandenbrink, R. A. (2001). Spiritual assessment: Comparing the tools. J Christ Nurs, 18(3), 24–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda M. Reis
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
    Email author
  • Robert Baumiller
    • 3
  • William Scrivener
    • 4
  • Geoffrey Yager
    • 5
  • Nancy Steinberg Warren
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Genetic Counseling Program, College of Allied Health SciencesUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Division of Human GeneticsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Biology and PhilosophyXavier UniversityCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Director of Pastoral CareCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  5. 5.College of EducationUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  6. 6.MilwaukeeUSA

Personalised recommendations