The effects of intercessory prayer on the spiritual well-being of hospitalized patients
There is widespread interest in prayer and its effects on health and spiritual well-being. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to explore the effects of intercessory prayer by the nursing staff for the spiritual well-being of hospitalized patients. The conceptual framework focused on the person's spiritual dimension and how the spiritual integrates and transcends the cultural, biopsychosocial, existential, and religious dimensions.
The target population was patients on a medical and a surgical unit of a Christian-sponsored hospital. Eighty patients were randomly chosen to the experimental (n = 40) or the control (n = 40) group. Nursing staff on the surgical unit prayed for patients on the medical unit, and nursing staff on the medical unit prayed for patients on the surgical unit.
Patients were asked to complete the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (developed by Paloutzian and Ellison) on admission and again 2-4 weeks after being discharged from the hospital. Forty-eight patients returned the second survey.
Results of the study showed no significant differences between the Spiritual Well-Being scores of the patients in the experimental and the control groups, using the Mann Whitney U test.
In conclusion, this study was a first step in exploring the effects of intercessory prayer, offered by nursing staff, on patients outcomes. Further experimental studies on prayer are recommended, using instruments to measure physical, social, and psychological aspects of spirituality as well as religious and existential components.
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Crigger, Nancy J.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Estep, Phyllis, "The effects of intercessory prayer on the spiritual well-being of hospitalized patients" (1997). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 2657.