- freely available
Religions 2016, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7010011
|Paper||Sample||Assessment (A)/Intervention (I)||Outcomes|
|Paper 1 ||IG|
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients: 40
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients: 38
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients: 39
-Generic data (number of clinic visits, consultations and hospitalizations);
-Mood (Profile of Mood States);
-Quality of life (Functional Assessment of Human Immunodeficiency/Virus—FAIN version 4);
- CD4 + T lymphocyte count;
-Triglycerides, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartainine transaminase (AST), bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, indicators of toxicity antiretroviral therapy.
-Intercessory prayer was performed for one hour every day during 20 weeks. The intercessor imagined the patient and asked for them to be cured.
-One IG with Intercessor Nurse Healers;
-One IG with Intercessor Professional Healers.
|-After 6 months there was a reduction in the absolute count of CD4 + lymphocyte in the IG (p = 0.02) compared to the CG;|
-After 12 months triglyceride levels had a reduction in GI compared to CG (−82.6 mg/dL vs. 8.6 mg/dL, p = 0.028).
|Paper 2 ||Patients with depressive disorders and anxiety: 27||Patients with depressive disorders and anxiety: 36||(A)|
-Hamilton Rating Scales for Depression and Anxiety;
-Life Orientation Test;
-Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale;
-Six weeks of prayer;
-First intercessory prayer session lasted 90 minutes; and 60 minutes for the remaining sessions;
-Intervention by a minister trained in healing prayer through Christian Healing Ministries. Based on the patient’s history the minister used a secular prayer (asking for pain relief and blessings);
-The minister was often with the participant during the intervention.
|-IG showed significant improvement in anxiety and depression, as well as more daily spiritual experiences and optimism compared to CG (p < 0.01);|
-Patients kept these results during one month after receiving the intervention (p < 0.01).
|Paper 3 ||371 Patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention or elective catheterisation |
189 received prayer, music, image guidance and healing touch;
182 only received prayer.
|377 did not receive prayer; 185 had the music, image and touch intervention, and 192 received only regular care||(A)|
-Presence of adverse cardiovascular events readmission and/or death, at hospital discharge and six months afterwards;
-Critical cardiovascular events such as a new myocardial infarction assessed by electrocardiogram or increased creatine phosphokinase.
-The 12 prayer groups involving Christians, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists were informed of the patients’ name, age and health condition.
-Each group was responsible for the content, schedule and duration of prayers (ranging from 5 to 30 days).
|-The unique use of prayer had no significant outcome on the clinical evolution of the groups, and the Odd Ratio was 0.97 (0.77–1.24) p = 0.8351, at confidence interval of 95%;|
-After six months, death and readmission was 0.93 (0.72–1.19) p = 0.5220, major cardiovascular event 0.85 (0.63 – 1.14) 0.2785 and death 1.13 (0.53 – 2.4) p = 0.7531.
|Paper 4 ||Men and women aged 18-88 years who attended the Presbyterian Church: 45||Men and women aged 18-88 years who attended the Presbyterian Church: 41||(A)|
-Rating scales to assess prayers outcomes (1–4 and 1–5);
-Medical Outcomes Study SF-20 (components: physical functioning, pain and mental health).
-All data were collected before and after the intervention.
-12 intercessor volunteers, who received the patient’s first name and a written summary of their concerns and problems. They recorded how often and how long they prayed, and whether they were or not using a script about what was asked in prayer. Each group was asked to pray once a day for a month, targeting at least one or two participants. The average was twice a day and a duration of 3 minutes.
|-Prayer decreases the level of concern of the participants who believe in a solution to their problem;|
-Prayer was related to better physical functioning (p < 0.002) for participants who believe in prayer.
|Paper 5 ||Patients undergoing coronary artery bypass|
601 were aware they were receiving the intervention
604 did not know if they were or were not receiving the intervention
|Patients undergoing coronary artery bypass|
597 did not know if they were or were not receiving the intervention
|-Postoperative complication among 30 (Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database);|
-Any major event (defined by the New York State Cardiac Surgery Reporting System);
-Three groups (two Catholic and one Protestant) which had access to a list of patients;
-The prayer was said at 0:00 pm the day before the surgery, and lasted for 14 consecutive days.
|-52% of patients of IG who were not aware if they were receiving prayers (315/604) had complications compared to 51% (304/597) of patients of CG (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92–1.15);|
-59% of patients of IG who knew they were receiving prayer had complications (352/601) compared to patients of IG who did not know if they were receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.02–1.28);
-30-day mortality after surgery was similar for the three groups.
|Paper 6 ||Patients admitted to the CCU: 484||Patients admitted to the CCU: 529||(A)|
-Length of stay in CCU;
- 15 teams with five intercessors who were given the participants’ first name;
- Daily intercessory prayer over a four-week period.
|-Patients of IG had lower weighted average when compared to CG (6.35 ± 7.13 vs. 0.26 ± 0.27; p = 0.04) and unweighted average (2.7 ± 0.1 vs. 3.0 ± 0.1; p = 0.04) considering the days patients were in Coronary Care Unit;|
-The length of stay in CCU was similar.
|Paper 7 ||Patients with cardiovascular disease after hospital discharge: 400||Patients with cardiovascular disease after hospital discharge: 349||(A)|
-Death, heart failure, readmission or emergency department attendance, and coronary revascularization.
-Three groups of patients were clustered according to risk: high risk (age = 70 years, diabetes mellitus, previous myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease or peripheral vascular disease), and low risk (no risk factors).
-Intercessory prayer was held once a week for 26 weeks;
-215 intercessors were divided into five groups ranging from 1 to 65;
-Intercessor groups prayed for 1-100 patients who were randomly distributed;
-Intercessors were provided with the name, age, gender, diagnosis, and patients’ health status.
|-There was at least one event in the IG and CG (25.6%) and the control group (29.3%) (odds ratio [OR], 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60–1.14]; p = 0:25);|
-31.0% of patients of the IG had primary outcomes vs. 33.33% of CG (OR, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.60–1.34] p = 0.60);
-The incidence of primary outcomes in low risk patients of IG was 17.0% vs. 24.1% in the CG (OR, 0.65 [95% CI, 0:20 to 1:36]; p = 0:12).
|Paper 8 ||IVF Women: 88||IVF Women: 81||(A)|
-Number of babies.
-Intercessory prayer five days after treatment beginning and lasted for three weeks;
-Each prayer group consisted of 3 to 13 intercessors that prayed for five patients asking for an increased pregnancy rate.
|-IG had a higher pregnancy rate compared to CG (46.6% vs. 22.2%, p < 0.001);|
-IG had a higher implantation rate (16.3% vs. 8%, p = 0.0005) and multiple babies (17% vs. 4.9%, p = 0.0126).
|Paper 9 ||Patients with bloodstream infection:1961||Patients with bloodstream infection: 1702||(A)|
-Number of deaths;
-Length of stay in hospital from day one of a positive blood-culture;
-Length of hyperthermia (temperature > 37.5 °C).
-Intercessors had a list with the first names of the patients of the IG. They asked for their well-being and full recovery.
|-IG had lower number of deaths [28.1% (475/1691)] compared to the CG [30.2% (514/1702) (p = 0.4);|
-Regarding the length of stay in hospital and duration of fever, IG had significantly fewer events than the CG (p = 0.01 and p = 0.04, respectively).
|Paper 10 ||Patients with rheumatic or psychological disease: 24||Patients with rheumatic or psychological disease: 24||(A)|
-Clinical State Scale;
-Attitude State Scale;
(Two times in consultation and after about 6 to 8 months).
-Six groups with 19 intercessors who were given participants’ first name;
-Participation of all the 19 people involved in prayer, two as lone individuals and the rest were divided into 4 groups:
-The group prayers were held once every two weeks, for one hour;
-Individual prayer was conducted every day for 15 minutes;
-Each patient received an average of 15 hours of prayer for a minimum period of 6 months.
The prayer method used was silent meditation in which the intercessor focused all his attention on a short phrase that expresses some positive affirmation about God, which is most often obtained from the Bible.
|Both instruments had similar results, but patients in IG had better results compared to the CG.|
|Paper 11 ||Pregnant women with gestational age of 37 weeks: 281||Pregnant women with gestational age of 37 weeks: 285||(A)|
-Type of delivery;
-Birth weight and macrossomy.
-Belief in God and religion.
(All variables were dichotomized).
-The intercessors group was composed of six women, coordinated by a theologian. They asked for good delivery and health of the newborn, over nine consecutive days.
|-Both IG and CG had a similar number of serious adverse events: spontaneous abortion (p = 0.53), intrauterine foetal death and (p = 0.30), low Apgar score (p = 0.34), preterm birth (p = 0.33), small size for gestational age (p = 0.62), macrossomy (p = 0.09), caesarean delivery (p = 0.68) and malformation (p = 0.99).|
|Paper 12 ||Mothers of children hospitalized with cancer: 30||Mothers of children hospitalized with cancer: 30||(A)|
-Inventory of Spielberger’s State Anxiety.
(Data were collected at three times: before, after the intervention and 21 days after prayers had ended).
-The petition prayer was said three times a day for three weeks by the participants, who were instructed to go to the religious temple/space in the hospital to connect with God through prayer.
|-After the intervention the difference between the anxiety averages in both groups was significant (p = 0.001);|
-IG had significant reduction in anxiety (CG: 58.93 ± 9.8 and IG: 40.96 ± 12.4).
-No difference between the pre and post intervention groups (p = 0.001).
Conflicts of Interest
In vitro Fertilisation
Coronary Care Unit
Randomized Clinical Trials
World Health Organization
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