Do Positive Prayers Affect Health


The study, which is descriptive in nature, employs a quantitative research design to test the hypothesis that: “If the use of prayer is related to an overall holistic sense among church members, then the more church followers use prayers the more they are likely to develop positive coping mechanisms to deal with painful experiences.”

Techniques for Data Analysis

Data analysis for the study will be done using descriptive statistics and categorization. In descriptive statistics, the researcher will be interested in measures of central tendency as well as dispersion. Measures of central tendency will be used to avail some indication of the size of average or typical scores that are important to describe the key findings of the study. Some measures of central tendency that will be used in this study include the mean, median, and mode (Abraham et al., 1989).

While the mean is going to be used when the study scores are at the interval level of measurement, the median will be employed when the scores are at the interval or ordinal level (Abraham et al., 1989), and the mode will be used when the data scores are at all the three levels – interval, ordinal and nominal (Pollit & Beck, 2008).

Measures of dispersion will be employed to indicate the level or extent to which the result scores cluster around or are spread out with the view to interpret the findings of the study. Here, the standard deviation, frequency distribution, and range will be used (Abraham et al., 1989). Lastly, categorization will be applied to develop themes for analyzing open-ended responses.

Rationale for Analysis

It is indeed true that some measures of central tendency such as the mean not only take all values into account in the sample but provide a unique way of analyzing data as each sample and population has only one mean (Abraham et al., 1989). Additionally, it becomes increasingly easier to use some measures of central tendency such as the median to analyze ordered data as well as quantitative data. The major justification for using dispersion measures such as the standard deviation arises from the fact that they avail researchers an outstanding basis for some very important multivariate statistics (Abraham et al., 1989).

Interpreting the Results

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 spot trends of how participants who joined the church 5 years ago are compared 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. Lastly, the model 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 the use of prayers. Lastly, the standard deviation will be used to interpret if the results tabulated using mean values are a good representation of the typical respondent (Abraham et al., 1989).


Abraham, I.L., Nadzam, D.M., & Fitzpatrick, J.J. (1989). Statistics and quantitative methods in nursing: Issues and strategies for research and education. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Pollit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2008). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.