Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Etzel Cardena

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Winkel

Third Advisor

Dr. Grant Benham


The intention of this study was to determine whether physicians' spiritual beliefs and the integration of prayer in medical practice are associated with patient health. In this study, 546 physicians from 40 different family practice residency programs in the contiguous United States completed and returned surveys. Regression analyses using these data and patient statistics provided by the clinics were performed. Patient's length of hospital stay and a ratio of clinic patients to hospital patients were used as dependent measures. The results did not show a relationship between physician beliefs, prayer, and patient health. However, there was a significant relationship between religious affiliation and frequency of religious service attendance, and degree of integration of prayer in practice. Male physicians had a higher strength of faith index than female physicians; and faculty physicians were more likely than residents to discuss religious issues with patients.


Copyright 2004 D. Ronald Rickerhauser. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American