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This paper examines patient’s desire for prayer from their health care providers and looks at the difference in prayer frequency between religious and non-religious based hospitals.


Continued debate surrounds this concept: How much spiritual care should be integrated into the medical field? Many theorists have included spirituality as an integral part to holistic care. Therefore healthcare providers should address prayer and spirituality.


A convenience sampling of 93 patients was taken from a government and a religious based hospital in southeastern Tennessee. The questionnaire used was specifically designed for the study. Information collected included demographics, religious affiliation, habits and prayer desires in relationship to the healthcare they received.


A statistically significant difference was found between the prayer activities of the chaplains at the two facilities (χ2 = .002, P <0 >.05), with greater frequency of prayer with patients at the religious based hospital. No statistical significance was found in the prayer activity of the doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and nursing assistants between the two facilities. Data revealed that patients frequently desired prayer and these needs were not met.


Patient’s spirituality must be addressed; healthcare providers need to strive to better meet patients spiritual and prayer needs. In many circumstances patients desire their healthcare providers to offer prayer.

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