Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The purpose of this investigation was to explore rural ambulatory care clients’ perceptions of spiritual needs, the nurse practitioner’s role in meeting spiritual needs, and the effect that age, sex, marital status, and frequency of church attendance have on ambulatory care clients’ perceptions of spiritual needs. The Neuman Systems Model (Neuman & Fawcett, 2002) was utilized as the theoretical foundation for this investigation. The participants in this investigation (N=83) were adult clients ages 18 to 64 seeking health care at the Fort Hays State University Student Health Center located in rural Western Kansas. Data was collected utilizing a revised edition of the Spiritual Needs of Patients Study Questionnaire by Martin, Burrows, and Pomilio (1976). / Findings of this investigation were reported as raw data, descriptive statistic such as means and modes, a t-test to compare groups based on gender, and one-way ANOVA testing to compare means between groups based on age, marital status, frequency of church attendance, and church affiliation. Results revealed several interesting and useful findings concerning the spiritual perceptions of rural ambulatory care clients. Not only did ambulatory care clients in a rural setting support that nurse practitioners are qualified to meet their spiritual needs, but they also felt that their spiritual needs were not too personal to discuss with the nurse practitioner. No significant differences were found between males and females regarding their spiritual perceptions and the nurse practitioner’s role in providing spiritual care. Significant differences existed between young adults and old middle-aged adults regarding their spiritual perceptions; old middle-aged adults scored significantly higher overall than did young adults. A statistically significant difference also existed between single participants and married participants in their overall spiritual perception score. Married participants scored significantly higher on the Spiritual Needs of Patients Study Questionnaire than the single participants scored. Recommendations were made based on the findings of this investigation and they include: conducting further research addressing the differences between males and females and their spiritual perceptions, conducting additional research focusing on the spiritual perceptions of young adults compared to old middle-aged adults, additional research investigations comparing spiritual perceptions based on marital status, conducting research aimed at investigating the differences between spiritual perceptions and the nurse practitioner roles among various church affiliations, and continued investigations addressing the spiritual perceptions of clients in relation to the frequency of church attendance.


Mary R. Hassett

Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2004 Julie A. Brull


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