Chaplains' perspectives on standardizing spiritual assessments
Chaplains are an integral part of mental health treatment within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and over the past decade, efforts have been made to integrate chaplain services into behavioral health treatment. One unique duty of chaplains is to conduct spiritual assessments, which are characterized as collaborative discussions with veterans to understand their overall religious and belief system, identify spiritual injuries, and how to integrate one's spiritual values into medical care. Although spiritual assessments in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers have evolved throughout the years to adopt a more structured approach, spiritual assessments can vary depending on site, clinical setting, and medical center. The present study sought to examine chaplains' perspectives on standardizing spiritual assessments and incorporating empirically validated measures into the assessments. Thematic analysis was conducted on two focus groups of chaplains from a large VHA medical center. Overall, chaplains appeared interested in standardizing spiritual assessments, with an expressed desire to maintain their current conversational format. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).