Promoting Excellence : HIV Care: An Agenda for Change : Appendix B

FICA: Taking a Spiritual History

F - Faith and Belief
"Do you consider yourself spiritual or religious?" or "Do you have spiritual
beliefs that help you cope with stress?" IF the patient responds "No," the clinician
might ask, "What gives your life meaning?" Sometimes patients respond with
answers such as family, career or nature.

I - Importance
"What importance does your faith or belief have in your life? Have your beliefs
influenced how you take care of yourself in this illness? What role do your beliefs
play in regaining your health?"

C- Community
"Are you part of a spiritual or religious community? Is this of support to you and
how? Is there a group of people you really love or who are important to you?"
Communities such as churches, temples and mosques, or a group of like-minded
friends can serve as strong support systems for some patients.

A - Address in Care
"How would you like me, your health care provider, to address these issues in
your health care?"

Christina Puchalski, M.D., The George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, 1996.

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