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An Investigation into the Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members

Abstract
The purpose of this proposal is to investigate whether the use of prayer by adult church members, both male and female can result in an overall holistic sense of well being. This quantitative project will explore the number of members who actually incorporate prayer in their lives as a strategy to decrease painful experiences. The resources utilized consist of the internet, and nursing journals. This topic impacts nursing because the process of prayer results in healing and serves as an alternative means to medical intervention. This decreases anxiety within patients and promotes wellness. This will assist nursing leaders and nurses in decisu7ions on how to handle
spiritual matters. This also cuts down on healthcare costs. The study of this topic is necessary in order to give nursing leaders an insight into the major impact of prayer on health matters affecting the target group. Prayer as a non medical intervention facilitates the healing
process and serves as a conduit which results in positive patient outcomes. Incorporating prayer into a patient’s lifestyle assists in the overall plan of care.
 
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………ii
List of Tables………………………………………………………………………………………v
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Problem…………..…….……………………………………………..1
Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………1
Problem Statement…………………………………………………………………………….1
Rationale and Significance of the Study………………………………………………….…….2
Research Questions (s)…………………………………………………………………………2
Hypothesis …….………………………………………………………………………………2
Definition of Terms……………………………………………………………….……………3
Summary……………………………………………………………………………………….3
Chapter 2: Literature Review…….………………………………………………………………..4
Introduction……………………………………………………………………………….……4
Headings……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..4
Subheadings…….……………………………………………………………………………….4
Headings………………………………………………………………………………………..4
Summary………………………………………………………………………………………..4
Chapter 3 Methodology……………………………………………………………………………5
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………….5
Setting…………………………………………………………………………………………..6
 
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Participants ……….………………………………………………………………………………6
Research Design………………………………………………………………………………..6
Description of Instruments or Tools…………….…………………………..…………………7
Data Collection…………………………………………………………………………………7
Data Analysis………………………………………………………………………………….8
Human Subjects Protection…………………………………………………………………….9
Summary………………………………………………………………………………………10
Chapter 4: Findings……………………………………………………………………………….11
Overview………………………………………………………………………………………12
Analysis of Data……………………………………………………………………………….12
Results and Interpretation……………………………………………………………………..13
Data Analysis Info…………………………………………………………………………….14
Research Question 1……………………………………………………………………….15
Research Question 2……………………………………………………………………….15
Research Question 3…………………………………………………………………….…15
Summary……………………………………………………………………………………15
Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusions………………….….…………………………………..16
Overview….……………………………………………………………………………………16
Discussion………………………………………………………………………………….…..16
Implications………………………………………….………………………………………..17
Limitations………………………………….…………………………………….…………..17
Recommendations..……………………………………………………………………………18
 
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Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………………18
Master Degree Experience…………………………………………………………………….18
References………………………………………………………………………………………..19
Appendices………………………………………………………………………………………20
Appendix A: Researcher-Designed Data Collection Tool………………….…….……………20
Appendix B: NIH Protection of Human Subjects Training Certification ……….…………….21
Appendix C: Chart 2 – Survey Results Summary for Yes/No Questions ……….…………….22
Appendix D: Chart 3 – Prayer Frequency & Types………………… ….……….…………….23
Appendix E: NIH Protection of Human Subjects Training Certification ……….…………….24
Appendix F: Informed Consent………………………………………………………………25
 
 
 
 
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Chapter 1: Introduction to the Problem
The influence of prayer on the injured body is indeed an asset to the promotion of wellness in patients. In many cases, patients do not know about prayer and the amazing way that it can calm anxiety and soothe many conditions. It is essential and vital that practitioners explore the psychological and physical aspects that are useful in coping with medical conditions. This study will explore the benefits of using prayer as a tool to aid patients in coping with medical conditions. Research will be conducted for my local church to prove this point.
Problem Statement
The purpose of this proposal is to investigate whether the use of prayer by church members ages 18 and above, both male and female can result in an overall holistic sense of well being at
my local church. Many people experience misfortune as a normal process of life and the intense pain experienced within can often be difficult to bear. This quantitative project will explore the number of members who actually incorporate prayer in their lives as a strategy to decrease painful experiences. The resources utilized consist of the internet, and nursing journals.
 
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Significance of the study
The study of this topic is important because it will shed light upon a powerful element that is often missing in medical environments. Prayer as a tool to cope is essential and this study will attempt to unveil its’ significance in patient recovery.   The principal of faith expressed by patrons of a local church will demonstrate whether prayer is valuable especially when faced with medical illness.
Research Questions
The proposed study will be guided by the following research questions:

How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above?
What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of wellbeing among church members?
How can nurse leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan?

 
 
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Hypothesis
The selected area of study impacts nursing because anecdotal evidence demonstrates that the process of prayer results in healing and may serve as an alternative means to medical intervention (Head, 2004). Studies have demonstrated that prayer has the capacity to not only decrease anxiety and depression, but also to promote wellness and enhance the overall quality of life (Lavery & O’Hea, 2010). Consequently, a study on this topic is beneficial to nursing practice as it will provide nurse leaders and staff with an avenue to deal with spiritual matters and demonstrate deeper insights into the major impact of prayer on health matters affecting the target group. More importantly, the study findings may assist reinforce the assertions that prayer as a non medical intervention not only facilitates the healing process and serves as a conduit which results in positive health outcomes, but also assists in the patient’s overall plan of care (Head, 2004). Going by these assertions, the proposed study will aim to prove or disapprove the following hypothesis:
H1: The use of prayer initiates a positive coping mechanism to deal with painful experiences and therefore, increases the overall holistic sense of well being among church members of the local church.
 
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Definition of Terms
The following terms were utilized for purposes of this study.
Prayer
Prayer is the communication with a being considered more powerful with the belief in the existence of the being and with the aim of receiving a response (Head, 2004).
Summary
Studies relating spirituality to medical aspects are not new (Bridges & Moore, 2002). The recent change of culture towards customer service has seen medical instititions turn to considering patient requirements and incorporate prayer into clinical practice (Kutz, 2004). This is, however, hardly the only reason. Studies have shown that a patient’s belief in prayer and its purpose in healing causes emotional calm and rest which is associated with better healing. A study by the British Medical Journal in 2001 also indicated that patients who prayed had a shorter hospital stay (Kutz, 2004). Prayer has also been seen to assist patients with chronic illness to cope with their conditions (Wachholtz & Sambamoorthi, 2011).
 
 
                                                                                                        

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Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
Topic: The impact of prayer by adults, eighteen and above on their health
Introduction
Research Problem
Research has been done relating prayer and healing but it has focused only on finding a correlation between the two on specific situations (Benson et al, 2006), thus ignoring the influence of spirituality and prayer on overall health. This study intends to fill the research gap on prayer its power, by focusing on the impact of prayer among local church members on their overall health and well being (Hodge, 2010). Prayer positively influences the hope and confidence of adults and this psychological impact, causing an improvement in their overall health.
Summarize the professional literature relevant to the topic you have chosen.
 
Significance of the study
The study of this topic is necessary to in order to give the nurses and nursing leaders an insight into the impact of prayer on health matters affecting the target group. This will assist them to make the best decisions on how to handle spiritual matters, particularly prayer, when dealing with patients and their colleagues.
 
 
 
 
 
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Methodology
The study will be conducted in form of a survey on adult Christian individuals. A two part questionnaire will be used. The first part will have questions measuring the level of commitment of prayer by the respondent. The second part of the questionnaire will have questions measuring the level of well being of the respondents.
 
This research will also be performed deductively. The deductive theory refers to the relationship between a recommended theory and the research. Research questions are, therefore, constructed on the basis of the literature reviewed (Bryman and Bell, 2007). For that reason, this section reviews the necessary literature in efforts to answer the research questions.
According Brandeis University (2009), the relationship between health and religion has stood for a long time. For many years, people have believed that intercessory prayers play an important role in the healing process. The concept of prayer has been a scientific study of interest for many scholars and its’ value deserves to be explored within this study.
An increasing body of knowledge has associated factors related to religion, faith and spirituality to the health results of adults and older patients (George, Ellison, & Larson, 2002; Koenig, McCullough, & Larson, 2001). Such health results include a reduction in the risk of mortality (McCullough, Hoyt, Larson, Koenig & Thoresen, 2000). In addition, further studies have revealed greater use of spirituality amongst the most disadvantaged. This is mostly among the elderly, minority groups, and women (Barna, 2002).
 
 
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However, the mechanisms underscoring the influence of prayer are yet to be confirmed. Various scholars have proposed divergent mechanism in the explanation of the patients’ health outcomes in relation to faith and spiritual factors (Hickman, 2006). These aspects include improved emotional states, as well as positive psychology and attitudes that may influence psychoneuroimmunological pathways (Levin, 2004). Faith-health researchers have endorsed complex designs to evaluate the pathways through adequate controls, causal designs, and longitudinal research (Badaracco, 2007). This is meant to cover this methodological gap in scientific surveys. In a population survey that made use of structural equation modeling (SEM) evaluation, church-based activities were related to improved health outcomes in elderly patients (Nardi, 2002). In this model, religious support and optimism facilitated the relationship between the spiritual activities and improved health outcomes (Krause, 2002).
The act of prayer can virtually bring individuals to their knees in a sense of vulnerability, especially during a crisis. Despite the development of scientific reasoning during the past century, almost 95% of Americans continue to believe in God or an ultimate, supernatural, higher being. Notably, approximately nine out of 10 individuals pray (Gallup & Lindsay, 1999). A cross-national study revealed a high prevalence of spirituality in the United States when it was compared to 21 other countries. The popularity of prayer was attributed to its perceived influence on promoting the well-being of patients. An estimated 94% of the respondents acknowledged the influence of prayer in managing depression or low self-esteem (Levin, 2004; Gallup and Jones, 1989).
 
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It is evident that science has not only provided the solution to well-being; and neither has any of its offspring’s such as modern science. Among those challenged with the prospect of undergoing open heart surgery, which is a prominent form of advanced technical medicine, prayer and spirituality were a common management practice. This was a spiritual activity showing their intent to survive the operation (Ai, Peterson, Bolling & Koenig, 2002). The use of spirituality to manage stressful situations is common among the elderly patients in America. In the recent past, various studies have revealed the positive consequences of religious events on the physical and emotional aspects of elderly patients. This was specifically in the amelioration of melancholy. Various scholars consider religious coping to be a way in which individuals obtain significance in stressful situations. Cardiac surgery is an example of a stressful circumstance in the final stages of the life of elderly patients (Strawbridge, Shema, Cohen, Bobert & Kaplan, 1998).
Several researches have been conducted on the effect of stressful occurrences that lead patients to seek prayer as an intervention. Most of these studies reveal that individuals often turn to spiritual activities for the provision of comfort and support when they encounter life threatening or stressful events. In a poll run by Gallup, the results showed that about 80% of Americans regard prayers to be a means of managing a crisis or problem (Poloma & Gallup, 1991). In this regard, spiritual practices such as
 
 
 
 
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prayer may be considered as useful tools for coping with problems and stressful situations especially in relation to chronic illness.
Rate of use of prayer in the healing process of medical conditions among church members age 18 years and above.
The adoption of prayer as a means of influencing one’s health is common among the population globally. Sick people pray for support, strength and guidance from God (Chatters, Taylor, Jackson, and Lincoln, 2008). In the United States, the frequency of praying not only depends on the age but also the race. A study conducted by Chatters, Taylor, Jackson, and Lincoln (2008) concluded that African Americans use prayers more often than their white counterparts.
Role of Prayer in Reducing Painful Experiences and Promoting a Holistic Sense of Wellbeing among Church Members
Across history, people have dealt with pain and illness in spiritual ways (Belcher, and Benda, 2005). Therefore, using prayers to quell an illness is not something new. Many studies have shown that there is a relationship between religion and general health and well being (Targ, 2002; Wilkinson, Saper, Rosen, Welles and Culpepper, 2008). Additionally, these studies have concluded that there is a neutral or beneficial relationship between religions (prayer) and health (Wilkinson et al., 2008).
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Circumstances or factors that encourage prayer and its healing ability within the organization
According to Chatters, Taylor, Jackson, and Lincoln (2008), people pray for strength and endurance when faced with difficult situations. The thought that God will help patients cope with their illness is, therefore, what motivates people to pray. Standley (2012) stated that the rules of prayers include asking in private, believing and receiving. This means that for one to receive healing through prayers, he/she must have faith in the prayers. For that reason, healing through prayers is all about believing in a supernaturally power (Olver, 2012).
How prayers benefit nurse leaders and nurses when used as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan.
Studies relating spirituality to medical aspects are not new (Bridges & Moore, 2002). The recent change of culture towards customer service has seen medical instititions turn to considering patient requirements and incorporate prayer into clinical practice (Kutz, 2004). This is, however, hardly the only reason. Studies have shown that a patient’s belief in prayer and its
purpose in healing causes emotional calm and rest which is associated with better healing (Barker, and Buchanan-Barker, 2004). A study by the British Medical Journal in 2001 also indicated that patients who prayed had a shorter hospital stay (Kutz, 2004). Prayer has also been seen to assist patients with chronic illness to cope with their conditions (Wachholtz & Sambamoorthi, 2011).
 
 
 
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Critique of the literature reviewed
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been on the rise for the last two decades (Frash et al., 2012). As described by Olver (2012) prayer is categorized amongst the mostly used CAM. Furthermore, it is the meditating prayer that is often linked with the health and well being of individuals (Olver, 2012). A survey by Jacobs, Gundling, and American College of Physicians (2009) on the most used CAM in the United States showed that prayer for oneself as well as prayers for others or by others topped the list with 43% and 23% respectively. However, success of these therapies, on a clinical setting, remains controversial among many medical professionals (Frash et al., 2012). First and foremost, prayer meant for oneself or others with their prior knowledge they are being prayed for, results to a relaxation response, psychosocial benefits like reduced distress and increased hope. According to Deem (n.d.), a study conducted in the San Francisco General Medical Center showed that there was a positive correlation between prayers and the response of cardiac patient to medication. On the contrary, Carry (2006) stated that patients who are aware that they are being prayed for were likely to experience a higher rate of post-operative complications such as abdominal heart rhythms. The general conclusion from these studies is that prayers produce mixed results.
Nonetheless, the use of prayers in the healing process is of particular importance to medics (Frash et al., 2012). It is interesting to know whether people are using prayer as a substitute for medical care or to hasten their healing. Moreover, there is a need to know what types of patients pray and what the repercussions of their actions are. This is what drives this study.
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Hypothesis & Key Research Questions
The selected area of study impacts nursing because anecdotal evidence demonstrates that the process of prayer results in healing and may serve as an alternative means to medical intervention (Head, 2004). Studies have demonstrated that prayer has the capacity to not only decrease anxiety and depression, but also to promote wellness and enhance the overall quality of life (Lavery & O’Hea, 2010). Consequently, a study on this topic is beneficial to nursing practice as it will provide nurse leaders and staff with an avenue to deal with spiritual matters and demonstrate deeper insights into the major impact of prayer on health matters affecting the target group (Mauk and Schmidt, 2004; Young, and Koopsen, 2005). More importantly, the study findings may assist reinforce the assertions that prayer as a non medical intervention not only facilitates the healing process and serves as a conduit which results in positive health outcomes, but also assists in the patient’s overall plan of care (Head, 2004). Going by these assertions, the proposed study will aim to prove or disapprove the following hypothesis:
H1: The use of prayer initiates a positive coping mechanism to deal with painful experiences and therefore, increases the overall holistic sense of well being among church members of the local church.
The proposed study will be guided by the following research questions:

How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above?
What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of wellbeing among church members?
How can nurse leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan?

 
 
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Conclusion/Summary
In conclusion, the process of creating this research consisted of a very unique pathway.   Identifying the problem was foremost and focusing on it gives credit to the total correlation of prayer and its ability to promote wellness. The literature reviewed above focuses on specific criteria that explore the connection between prayer and well being.
 
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Chapter 3: Methodology
Introduction
The study will be conducted in form of a survey on adult Christian individuals. A two part questionnaire will be used. The first part will have questions measuring the level of commitment to prayer by the respondent. The second part of the questionnaire will have questions measuring the level of well being of the respondents.
 
 
This research will also be performed deductively. The deductive theory refers to the relationship between a recommended theory and the research. Research questions are, therefore, constructed on the basis of the literature reviewed (Bryman and Bell, 2007). For that reason, this section reviews the necessary literature in efforts to answer the research questions.
According Brandeis University (2009), the relationship between health and religion has stood for a long time. For thousands of years, people have believed that intercessory prayers play an important role in the healing process. Therefore, prayer has been a scientific study of interest for many scholars.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Setting
The setting for this research will be conducted at the local church in Roseville CA. The church is multicultural and consists of over 3000 members who are multicultural.
Participants
The participants will be sampled from the local church after seeking permission from the local pastor and other relevant agencies. The criteria for inclusion include: 1) must be 18 years and above, 2) either male or female, 3) well versed with of religious and spiritual issues based on a church setting, 4) must have attended church services at the local church for a period not less than two years, 5) be of any nationality, racial or ethnic grouping, 6) demonstrate evidence of occurrence of painful experiences in own lives or in the lives of close family members, and 7) be ready and willing to take part in the research study.

 
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Research Design
Primary data for the proposed study will be collected using survey technique, which will make it possible to not only observe and identify the impact of characteristics of the research, but also explore possible associations among the variables (Nardi, 2002). Here, the phenomenon of interest is investigating whether the use of prayer by church members can decrease painful experiences and result in an overall holistic sense of well being for participants selected at the local church. Consequently, the survey technique will be able to acquire information on the participant’s characteristics, values, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, demographics, and previous experiences. This will be done by asking them a set of questions and tabulating their responses with the ultimate goal of learning about a large population by only surveying a sample of that population (Nardi, 2002). A survey technique is advantageous as it is not only inexpensive to conduct, but provides the researcher with a framework to ask many questions on the topic, thus giving substantial flexibility to the analysis (Knapp, 1998).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Description of Instruments or Tools for data collection
In this research, questionnaires will be the primary tool/instrument for data collection. The questionnaire will include check lists, altitude and rating scales and projective techniques. In addition, the questionnaire will be administered in an interview format.
The questionnaire, which will have a total of 25 questions and 3 sections, will include checklists to collect numerical and closed-ended data, attitude scales to collect interval data, and rating scales to collect ordinal and categorical data (Knapp, 1998). In section A, 2 numerical items and 3 closed-ended (yes/no) will be used to collect participants’ personal and demographic information. In section B, 5 Likert-scale items will be posed to measure attitudes, values, and beliefs of the participants. Additionally, 5 open-ended questions will be posed to break the ice and seek for other relevant data that may be outside the scope of the researcher. Also 5 multiple choice items will be used to collect finite data for analysis (Nardi, 2002). Section C will contain 3 closed-ended questions and 2 open-ended questions intended to elicit some concluding remarks on the research study.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Data Collection
Data will be collected through self administration of the questionnaires. This is aimed at achieving high response rate from the respondents as well as ensures validity and reliability of the information gathered. This is attributed to the fact that the researcher will be available to the respondents for creation of awareness and clarification purposes. Besides this, questionnaires were arrived at due to various considerations. First, they can be used to reach various people at different times, different environments and can as well target analysis of numerous sub-topics of the main topic in different dimensions. Next, they are cheap and easy to construct in terms of materials resources and time. Lastly, it is the best suited method for both quantitative and qualitative data (Monsen, 2008).
 
Type of Data to be collected
Ordinal and categorical data will be collected using Likert scale items. The items on the ordinal scale will be set into order to represent their position on the scale and demonstrate their relative importance to the constructs under investigation, categories of “strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree” will be used in the Likert scales (Nardi, 2002). Rank-ordered data and finite data will be collected using open-ended and multiple-choice questionnaire items, respectively. The nominal data will be collected through the employment of dichotomous scales by assigning values to categories (e.g., 1=Yes; 2=No in closed-ended items) and by ensuring that these categories cannot be ranked. It is important to note that the numbers assigned in the dichotomous scales have no intrinsic meaning (Morrell, 2007).

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Data Analysis
In measures of central tendency, the mean will be used to demonstrate the probability of how engagement in prayer leads to the development of positive coping mechanisms that could be used to deal with stressful experiences. The mean will also be used to identify trends of how participants who joined the church 5 years ago are comparative with those who joined the church 1 year ago in dealing with painful experiences.
In the proposed study, the median will be used to note and explain extreme cases of participants who are yet to develop positive coping strategies even after sustained prayers because those who have already developed these strategies will be in or near the middle score.   The mode will be used to report the reaction evaluation of participants in terms of using prayers to deal with painful experiences.
In measures of dispersion, frequencies of participants who have developed positive coping mechanisms due to continued use of prayers, histograms, charts, and frequency polygons are going to be represented. The range will be used to describe the limits of study participants on various variables of interest, such as church attendance and use of prayers. The standard deviation will then be used to interpret whether the results tabulated using mean values are a good representation of the typical respondent (Abraham et al., 1989).
 
 
 
 
 
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Human Subjects Protections
 
Written permission to conduct the research was obtained from the relevant authorities in the church and school. In seeking for the permission, the researcher ensures all ethical regulations and standards pertaining experimenting with human subjects have been satisfactorily met.   The study was also approved by the Institution Review Board of Western Governors University.   The risks of the study are minimal as it involves the study of anonymous surveys obtained from the participants and no personal contact was made. The principal investigator completed the (NIH), National Institutes of Health online training on the protection of human subjects. (See Appendix B).
 
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Summary
 
This chapter outlines the methodology utilized during the research study. A description of the research design setting and study population is also discussed. The research tool and data collection procedures are summarized and the data analysis is also reviewed. Finally the emphasis on human subject protection is also addressed. Chapter 4 will indicate the findings of the study.
 
 
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Chapter 4: Findings
 
Overview
 
The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the use of prayer promotes healing in patients. The goal of the study was to have patients use prayer as a tool to cope and decrease illness. This idea was identified by multiple participants within this study. The investigation was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the facility where participants were members.
After gaining informed consent, demographic information was obtained (i.e. Age, gender,) surveys were conducted via online web service. Strict privacy and anonymity were maintained. Following the survey process the results were analyzed. The following sections of this chapter describe data analysis and t he results and interpretations of the data.
Analysis of Data
There were a total of 21 participants in this investigation who participated in individual survey questionnaires. The survey consisted of 25 questions. Once data was collected, demographic data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Survey questionnaires were analyzed categorically.
 
 
 
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Results and Interpretation
Chart 1 provides an overview of demographic information obtained from the participants. The areas included age, gender and marital status. Further demographic data revealed that most of the participants use prayer to cope. Categorical data analysis was also conducted. During data analysis, the themes were emerged. The themes were interrelated to form a whole that captured the factors that contributed to the results. All of the participant’s information was kept confidential. The ethical considerations and standards were also implemented.

 
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Prayer and Wellness Survey Data Analysis
 
Prayer and Wellness Survey taken by 21 participants.
 
Chart 1 – Survey Participants Info
 

 
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Research Questions
The investigation examined whether or not prayer was used as a tool to promote health status in local church members. Survey questions were distributed to answer the following questions.

How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above?
What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of wellbeing among church members? What circumstances or factors encourage prayer and its healing ability within the organization?
How can nurse leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan?

Research Question 1: Prevalence
 
The participants demonstrated that prayer is used frequently as a means to help them cope with illness. The use of prayer made them feel they had a sense of hope. The huge impact of prayer on changing their health status is clearly indicated within the study.    Chart 3 explains in detail the frequencies that the participants pray.
 
Research Question 2: Roles of Prayer in health promotion and wellness
           
The participants illustrated as a whole that prayer makes them feel better inside and out. They believe that prayer should be part of the healthcare process and that healing results from it.   The process of prayer is indicated as a process that does not always render perfect results, but they report using prayer and witnessing its use among other patrons. Once again the majority
 
 
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uses prayer to cope in the time of healing. They believe that it is beneficial for them and others.
 
Research Question 3: Benefits for leaders

Nurse leaders can benefit greatly from using prayer as a tool in their practice. The emphasis of faith and healing will serve as a great component of the health care plan. The use of this tool will assist leaders by allowing their patients to be calmer and more receptive to the therapy that is offered. In the sensitive environment of the hospital or any healthcare institution, stress is a key component to the breakdown and delay of the healing process. When patients have this extra tool of prayer and know deep within that it is ok to focus on this concept in addition to their medical regimen, it gives them hope. It gives them a sense that they can believe for something bigger that what is actually going on with their body.   When patients are in this state of mind, nurses can perform more efficiently and patients heal timely. These methods result in patients spending less money on healthcare and nurses and leaders spending more time to provide care for their entire patient load.
Summary
This investigation consisted of 21 participants and was completed in a 3 week time frame. This study revealed overwhelmingly how powerful the use of prayer is in the promotion of wellness. The overall comparative analysis reveals similar responses among participants.   Although the times and frequencies of their use of prayer varied, the end result showed that they believe prayer is a master tool for healing. When sick people have a grasp of the prayer tool on board, and nurses and leaders are promoting it, these patients cope better. This in turn results in a cycle of events within the institution such as healthier patients and speedier recovery times.
 
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Although positive results are not always demonstrated by the use of prayer, participants report they are better off using it to heal.   Chapter 5 discusses implications, limitations, recommendations, and a conclusion related to the findings of this investigation.
Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusions
 
Overview
This final chapter discusses the findings of this investigation. The implications, limitations, recommendations, and conclusions are presented below.
Discussion
The purpose of this investigation was to study whether prayer as a tool in healthcare serves to promote wellness in ill patients. The goal was to answer the following questions.

How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above?
What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of wellbeing among church members? What circumstances or factors encourage prayer and its healing ability within the organization?
How can nurse leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan?

 
 
 
 
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Implications
This research investigation included 21 participants and was completed in a 3 week time period. The literature review conducted for this investigation revealed that prayer is a vital component of health care and promotion. The research investigation revealed
the personal values and beliefs of faithful members of a local church. Based on the research it is safe to say that the use of prayer in local hospitals and healthcare establishments can be useful to aid the prescribed hospital plan of care. The role of validity and reliability on this study are considered and utilizing the church members only as participants could be somewhat biased and serve to manipulate the study. However, the validity of the results is considered stable because they are random anonymous participant responses. The strengths of this project is that it serves to promote and bring about a major change in healthcare and helping ill people cope through their illness. The weakness of the project is that there were not very many participants and it took quite some time to achieve enough participants.   Multiple attempts to accomplish the study took place via a re-invitation.
Limitations
There were multiple limitations of this investigation. The study was limited because there were few participants and getting the approval to do the project was tedious. The interpretation of the results was also limited as there was much technical difficulty with the survey website I used. This investigation would have been more concise with a larger participant population with many results to consider.
 
 
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Recommendations
Based on the findings of this investigation, the following recommendations are made:

Additional investigation needed on factors that support the decision to incorporate prayer as a tool in healthcare.
Additional participants are needed to justify the investigation.
More time for data collection is recommended.
Invitation of healthcare providers who support prayer in their practice would be recommended.

Conclusions
Chapter 5 provided a discussion of the findings, implications, limitations, and recommendations for enhanced leadership development, in regards to prayer and health care promotion and the overall value of a faith based practice and its’ benefits. Recommendations for future investigations were also provided.
Master Degree Experience
The goal to obtain a Master Degree has been a long journey and required a lot of work, focus and tenacity. I have learned so many things along the way and I feel that I will be able to use it to better my community and myself. I am grateful for the structure of the program and all of the tools and nuggets available to perform research. I am also grateful to the staff for all of the support along the way.   I am certain I will be able to apply much of the knowledge I have gained in this program to my workplace.
 
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References
Ai, A. L., Peterson, C., Bolling, S. F., & Koenig, H. (2002). Private prayer and the optimism of middle-age and older patients awaiting cardiac surgery. The Gerontologist, 42, 70–81.
Alderson, A. (2009, January 31). Nurse suspended for offering to pray for elderly patient’s recovery. Retrieved July 13, 2012, from The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4409168/Nurse-suspended-for-offering-to-pray-for-patients-recovery.htm
Badaracco, C. (2007). Prescribing faith: Medicine, media, and religion in American culture. Waco, Tex: Baylor University Press.
Barker, P. J., & Buchanan-Barker, P. (2004). Spirituality and mental health: Breakthrough. London: Whurr Publishers.
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APPENDIX A.
 
Data Collection Tool
Table   1 Survey Questionnaire
 

#
Question Text

Q1
Please indicate your gender. Male [ ] Female [ ]

Q2
How old are you?____________________

Q3
What is your marital status? Married _______ Single _______

Q4
What is your highest level of education? High School ____ Graduate____ Others____

Q5
Do you believe in supernatural powers? Yes ___ No____

Q6
Do you pray? Yes____ No____

Q7
How frequently do you pray?

Q8
How do you pray? [ ] In solitude [ ] In a group

Q9
Is there a relationship between faith and prayers? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q10
Do prayers work for non believers? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q11
Do prayers heal or do they just complement medication? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q12
Do you believe that God answers prayers through healing? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q13
What is your reaction when you pray for healing and receive no answers?______________________________________

Q14
Why are some prayers not answered?_____________________________________

Q15
What should someone do to make his prayers successful?

Q16
Is prayer an important tool in medical care? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q17
Do you inquire about patient’s beliefs and spirituality? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q18
Are hurting people receptive to inquiries about their religious beliefs? Yes [ [ No [ ]

 
 
 
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APPENDIX A.
DATA COLLECTION TOOL CONTINUED
SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
 
 
 

Q19
Have you encountered people who are ill, who pray or receive intercessory prayers? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q20
How did these patients respond to medication?_____________________________________

Q21
Should prayers be incorporated in general medical care? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q22
Do you pray for your ill people? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q23
Do you feel medical decisions should be influenced by prayer? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q24
Do you feel prayer sometimes conflicts with medical care? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Q25
Do you think science and spirituality are compatible? Yes [ ] No [ ]

 
 
 
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APPENDIX B.
 
Chart 2 – Survey Results Summary for Yes/No Questions
 

All participants (100%) have confirmed:

They pray

For themselves
For their ill people

There is relationship between faith and prayers
Believe that God answers prayers through healing
Prayer is an important tool in medical care
They feel medical decisions should be influenced by prayers

 

67% of participants feel that prayer does NOT conflict with medical care.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
APPENDIX C.
 
 
 
 
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APPENDIX D.
 
Chart 3 – Prayer Frequency & Types
 

All participants (100%) pray daily

20% pray throughout the day
10% pray twice a day

86% of the participants pray in solitude

 
 
 
 


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