Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Lisa Van Getson, APRN, DNP, FNP-C

Second Advisor

Joyce P. Miller, DNP, RN

Third Advisor

Michelle Ullery, DNP, APRN, CNP


Women’s and children’s health is an important measure for the health of a community, state, and nation. Prenatal anxiety has been an under researched complication affecting both a woman’s and an infant’s health. Statistics estimate that 7-20% of pregnant women suffer from prenatal anxiety. Adverse outcomes associated with prenatal anxiety include preterm labor, preterm delivery, decreased milk production, disrupted mother/infant bonding, increased cognitive problems, and altered neurobehavioral development. Currently, there is no universal screening tool, treatment recommendations, or agreement on when to screen pregnant women for the disorder. Treatment options for prenatal anxiety are cognitive behavioral therapy or antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The focus of this project is to use Reiki as a treatment option for prenatal anxiety symptoms. Reiki is a form of energy healing, and women can perform it on themselves. Reiki is an easy and cost effective treatment option. Although Reiki has not been studied specifically for prenatal anxiety, it has been shown to decrease anxiety and stress in other patient populations for this project, 10 women diagnosed with anxiety were given a reiki treatment in a clinical setting. They completed a survey before and after the treatment. A Likert scale was used to measure the impact of reiki on prenatal anxiety. Symptoms. Results showed a 40% decrease in anxiety and a 50% reduction in feelings of nervousness. Although this was a small study, Reiki was shown to effectively decreased worry, tension, nervousness, and anxiety while increasing feelings of peace, relaxation, and calmness.


SC 11.DNP.2023.Rothstein.A