Spiritual Care Visualized

  • John S. Lunn Chaplain, Hospice Hawaii
Keywords: spiritual care, palliative care


Years ago, the author was asked by a prominent palliative care leader if Spiritual Care could be conveyed in a ladder format, as pain management had been by the WHO.  Many practitioners think about Spiritual Care as a way to identify and address spiritual distress.  Surely it is that, but it is so much more.  In this article the attempt is to depict Spiritual Care visually.  Spiritual Care providers and others will tell you that along with spiritual distress there is also a powerful resource that spirituality provides.  The Spiritual Care ladder endeavors to show both aspects along with their relationship to one another, their interconnectedness.  This is not a resource for assessing spirituality, it is meant to help people better understand it and to visualize it, so that the tools will be more helpful.  Several valuable tools have been included in this article for the assessment of the Spirituality and Faith components of a person’s life.

Author Biography

John S. Lunn, Chaplain, Hospice Hawaii

Grace Episcopal Church - Vicar, Pastor


World Health Organization [Internet]. WHO's cancer pain ladder for adults [cited 2015 Sep 1].2013 Nov. 27. Available from: http://www.who.int/cancer/palliative/painladder/en/

Deutsch D. The paradox of pitch circularity [PDF]. Acoustics Today. 2010;6(3):8–14. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.3488670.

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, 1993 Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Epictetus. Symmetry Counseling, 2017 [Internet] [cited 2017 Feb 5]. Available from: https://www.symmetrycounseling.com/uncategorized/two-ears-one-mouth-art-active-listening/,

May GG. The dark night of the soul: a psychiatrist explores the connection between darkness and spiritual growth [EPub]. HarperCollins, 2005.

Nouwen HJM. A soul searching [Internet] [cited 2017 Jan 25]. 2007. Available from: http://acerminaro.blogspot.com/2006/01/quotes-from-henri-jm-nouwen.html

Nietzsche FW [1844-1900]. Beyond good and evil: prelude to a philosophy of the future. NY, New York, USA: Penguin Books; 1990.

Frankl VE. The will to meaning [Internet] [cited 2017 Jan 25]. Panarchy. Available from: https://www.panarchy.org/frankl/meaning.html

Tentmaker Ministries. Faith and doubt quotes [Internet] [cited 2017 Jan 25]. Available from: www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/faithquotes.htm

Fagnant-MacArthur P. Catholic Exchange [Internet] [cited 2017 Jan 25] http://catholicexchange.com/2011/04/14/151309/

World Health Organization [Internet]. HO five principles, CHANGE PAIN [cited 2017 Jan 25]. Available from: http://www.change-pain.com/grt-change-pain-portal/change_pain_home/chronic_ pain/indication/cancer_pain/who_guidelines/en_EN/310700135.jsp

Puchalski CM. FICA spiritual history tool [Internet]. 1996 [cited 2017 Jan 26]. The GW Institute for Spirituality & Health, 1996. Available from: https://smhs.gwu.edu/gwish/clinical/fica/spiritual-history-tool

Anandarajah G, Hight E. Spirituality and medical practice: using the HOPE questions as a practical tool for spiritual assessment. AAFP Home [Internet]. 1 Jan 2001 [cited 2017 Jan 26]. Available from: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0101/p81.html

Kinney C. Spirituality and clinical care [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2017 Jan 25]. Available from: http://inds.utmb.edu/SpiritualityandClinicalCare/syllabus.asp

White B. Life coach inspirational quotes [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2017 Jan 35]. Available from: http://www.mylifecoach.com/inspirationalquotes.htm

O’Toole G. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Quotes Investigator [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2017 Jan 25]. Available from: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/12/17/breaths/

Boeree CG. Viktor Frankl. Plato's cave [Internet] [cited 2017 Jan 25]. 2006. Available from: webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/frankl.html.

Vasudevan S. Coping with terminal illness: a spiritual perspective. Indian J Palliat Care [serial online] [cited 2017 Feb 5]. 2003;9(1):19-24. Available from: http://www.jpalliativecare.com/text.asp?2003/9/1/19/19873

How to Cite
Lunn, J. S. (2019). Spiritual Care Visualized. Christian Journal for Global Health, 6(1), 26-34. https://doi.org/10.15566/cjgh.v6i1.253