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The aim of this study was to explain and describe prayer experience of cancer patients. Descriptive phenomenology was used to guide the study. Data were collected by using in-depth interview with 9 cancer patients who have prayed regularly. Data were collected from October 2012 through December, 2013. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Trustworthiness was established using the criteria set out by Lincoln and Guba.
The findings of the study revealed that prayer experience of cancer patients can be categorized into 4 groups, including 1) prayer is practiced based on belief and faith, 2) prayer is a way for promoting holistic health care in 4 aspects; improving quality of sleep; promoting peace of mind and concentration; reinforcing good thoughts and positive thoughts; and enhancing inner strength, 3) prayer promotes effects of medical treatments and reduces side effects, and 4) prayer is a flexible and convenient practice.
The findings of this study help to understand prayer experience of cancer patients. Prayer may be an alternative way for introducing to cancer patients to help them cope with cancer and promote their health.