Abstract| Volume 63, ISSUE 6, P1076-1077, June 2022

A Validated Spiritual Screening Tool for Serious Illness: The PC-Spirit (RP317)

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      1. Understand the importance of spiritual screening
      2. See evidence of the PC-Spirit internal and external validity
      3. Discuss the usefulness of implementing the PC-Spirit in clinical practice


      Spiritual and existential beliefs, for those religious and not, are associated with improved quality of life, reduced suffering, and preferences for care. Yet tools that systematically assess need; link those needs with intervention, treatment recommendations, and outcomes; and communicate needs with other disciplines are lacking. Our research team developed and validated the first quantifiable spiritual screening tool designed specifically for seriously ill veterans, the PC-Spirit.


      The objective of the study was to present the results of the quantitative validation of the PC-Spirit


      We administered the instrument along with a battery of comparison measures to 249 veterans with advanced illness. The comparison measures captured general spiritual well-being, religious coping, and emotional functioning and examined convergent and discriminant validity: FACIT (faith, meaning and purpose), QUAL-E (preparation and completion), R-COPE (religious/spiritual coping), POMS and PHQ-8 (anxiety and depression), and FACT-G (quality of life). We administered the PC-Spirit a week later, for test-retest reliability.


      Results demonstrated reliability and validity and yielded a screening tool with three main components: spiritual relevance, spiritual needs, and spiritual resources. Spiritual needs (9 items) and resources (14 items) had Cronbach's alphas of .76 and .86, respectively, items evaluating relevance of spirituality (7 items) demonstrated a Cronbach's alpha of .76. Psychometric analyses yielded a final PC-Spirit tool including 30 items. Spiritual resources was strongly positively correlated the FACIT-SP three subscales: meaning (r = .63, p < .0001), peace (r = .59, p < .0001), and faith (r = .71, p < .0001); the GES (measuring spirituality and peace with life) (r = .65, p < .0001); and the social and family well-being subscale of the Fact-G (r = .56, p < .0001), positive coping (.63, p < .0001), and religious intensity (.51, p < .0001). Spiritual needs were strongly positively correlated with depression as measured by the PHQ-8 (r = .54, p < .0001) and anxiety as measured by the POMS (r = .52, p < .0001). We also demonstrate threshold values and their correlation with anxiety and depression.


      The PC-Spirit demonstrates reliability and validity.


      PC-Spirit offers a validated tool to screening for spiritual distress.