The Salutogenic Effects of Prayer and Meditation on Health Perception, Behavior, and Outcomes

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 8:30 AM

Maryclaret Ndubuisi-Obi, MSN, RN
School of Nursing, DePaul University, Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
Lilian Allen, PhD
Chamberlain College of Nursing, Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Purpose: Though spirituality in medicine has been around for centuries, it is not emphasized enough in modern medicine. The limited research availability within this domain has left healthcare professionals skeptical of the benefits to which prayer and meditation have within different patient populations and in the daily life of the ill-stricken. The purpose of this integrated literature review is to determine if prayer and meditation pose a salutogenic effect that is beneficial to improved health; whether such benefit correlates to improved health perception, behaviors/participation, and outcomes.

Methods: This integrative literature review was conducted using keywords “prayer, meditation, and health” to search the literature between 2000-2017.This type of design aims to analyze and determine whether the utilization of prayer and meditation as spiritual resources prove to be beneficial for the salutogenic direction in health perception, participation and outcomes. This will support a literature search that will highlight articles that demonstrate prayer and meditation as valuable resources and influencing spiritual practices that build and strengthen the sense of coherence of a person. It will pull together an integrative viewpoint of prayer and meditation as integral spiritual components of a healthier life.

Results: The articles reviewed, demonstrated that prayer and meditation have been seen to move health towards a salutogenic direction. These spiritual practices allow for movement toward a better health outcome in its riddance of stress and anxiety, slowing down the direction of pathogenesis in persons with long-term illnesses.

Conclusion: This review found that prayer and meditation provide a significant benefit to health perception, behavior/participation and outcomes. Such spiritual practices have influenced health and moved it toward a salutogenic direction with respect to a positive health outlook and a decrease in stress and anxiety. Attention and emphasis on spirituality in nursing practice and the provision of holistic nursing care could change the response to the conditions surrounding ill health; and, further providing a cost-effective and practical solution to improving health across diverse populations.