spirituality and medicine:
curriculum development project


FICA model for spiritual assessment


This has been developed by Dr Christina Puchalski at the George Washington Institute of Spirituality and Health in Washington DC. The acronym FICA allows exploration of:

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 physician might ask, "What gives your life meaning?" Sometimes patients respond with answers such as family, career, or nature.

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

"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 healthcare provider, to address these issues in your healthcare?"

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The Spirituality and Medicine Curriculum Development Project is funded by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.