Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Boeve, Wallace


Previous literature has demonstrated a relationship between spirituality and positive health outcomes in the general population. However, little research has been done on the role spirituality plays in the lives of individuals with DD (intellectual and developmental disabilities). The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of spirituality in IDD individuals and involvement in spiritual activities. This was done with the goal of identifying potential barriers preventing the optimal practice of spirituality in the lives of those with disabilities. This study targeted IDD individuals living in a residential group home setting by collaborating with ACR Homes, a residential care company based out of Roseville, MN. The relationship between presence of disability and primary means of expression was analyzed using chi-square testing, with statistical significance identified between primary means of expression and presence of spirituality. The highest presence of spirituality was identified in individuals whose primary means of communication was spoken language. Of those identified as spiritual, 57% participated in spiritual activities as often as they desire. Furthermore, lack of staffing or accompaniment was identified as the largest barrier to attending spiritual activities at a rate the individual desires. From this study it can be concluded that IDD individuals with higher levels of communication are more often spiritual or perceived as spiritual. No correlation was identified between spirituality and the other studied determinants of disability level.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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