GPs' views concerning spirituality and the use of the FICA tool in palliative care in Flanders: a qualitative study
Vermandere, Mieke × Choi, Yoo-Na De Brabandere, Heleen Decouttere, Ruth De Meyere, Evelien Gheysens, Elien Nickmans, Brecht Schoutteten, Melanie Seghers, Lynn Truijens, Joachim Vandenberghe, Stien Van de Wiele, Sofie Van Oevelen, Laure-Anne Aertgeerts, Bert #
The British Journal of General Practice vol:62 issue:603 pages:536-537
BACKGROUND: According to recent recommendations, health care professionals in palliative care should be able to perform a spiritual history-taking. Previous findings suggest that the FICA tool is feasible for the clinical assessment of spirituality. However, little is known about the views of general practitioners regarding the use of this tool.
AIM: To provide a solid overview of the views of Flemish GPs concerning spirituality and the use of the FICA tool for spiritual history-taking in palliative care.
DESIGN: Qualitative interview study
METHOD: Twenty-three GPs in Flanders participated in a semi-structured interview. The interviews were analyzed by thematic analysis, which includes line-by-line coding and the generation of descriptive and analytical themes.
RESULTS: The interviewees stated that they would keep in mind the questions of the FICA tool while having a spiritual conversation, but not use them as a checklist. The content of the tool was generally appreciated as relevant. However, many GPs found the tool too structured and concrete, and that it limited their spontaneity. They suggested rephrasing the questions into spoken language. The perceived barriers during spiritual conversations included feelings of discomfort and fear, and the lack of time and specific training. Factors that facilitated spiritual conversations included the patients’ acceptance of their diagnosis, a trusting relationship, and respect for the patients’ beliefs.
CONCLUSIONS: A palliative care process with attention for the patient’s spirituality was generally perceived as a tough but rewarding experience. The study concludes that the FICA tool could be a feasible instrument for the clinical assessment of spirituality, provided that certain substantive and linguistic adjustments are made. Additional research is needed to find the most suitable model for spiritual history-taking, in response to the specific needs of GPs.