palliative care, psychometrics, questionnaires, spirituality



  1. Kang, Kyung-Ah PhD, RN
  2. Mamier, Iris PhD, RN
  3. Chun, Jiyoung PhD, RN
  4. Taylor, Elizabeth Johnston PhD, RN, FAAN


Living with a terminal illness, whether as a patient or as the family member of a patient, often involves spiritual challenges. The ability to ascertain and meet the spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their loved ones is an essential part of providing compassionate and competent whole person care. This study aimed to adapt the original Spiritual Interests Related to Illness Tool (SpIRIT) for use in Korea (SpIRIT-K) and to assess its reliability and validity as a tool to determine the spiritual needs of terminally ill Korean patients and their caregivers. After translation-back-translation and content validity indexing, SpIRIT-K was administered to 106 terminally ill patients and 105 family caregivers in 20 sites across South Korea. SPSS and AMOS were used for evaluating validity and reliability. The 37-item SpIRIT-K consisted of 8 factors (subscales), with each subscale consisting of between 3 and 8 items. Evidence for structural and convergent validity was observed. Internal reliability of the overall scale was 0.95. The findings showed patients and family caregivers reported no significant difference in 7 of the 8 subscales, demonstrating known-groups validity. The rigorous process of establishing cross-cultural validity for this scale provided evidence supporting its validity and reliability. The findings suggest that SpIRIT-K is suitable for research and for clinical purposes in palliative care settings in South Korea. This development also allows for comparisons between Korean and North American cultures in terms of spiritual needs among terminally ill patients and their caregivers.