Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary
care unit population.
Author: Randolph C. Byrd, M.D.
Institution: Medical Service, San Francisco General Medical Center, CA.
Source: Southern Medical Journal 1988 Jul; 81(7): 826-9
Abstract: The therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer (IP) to
the Judeo-Christian God, one of the oldest forms of therapy, has had
little attention in the medical literature. To evaluate the effects of
IP in a coronary care unit (CCU) population, a prospective randomized
double-blind protocol was followed. Over ten months, 393 patients
admitted to the CCU were randomized, after signing informed consent,
to an intercessory prayer group (192 patients) or to a control group
(201 patients). While hospitalized, the first group received IP by
participating Christians praying outside the hospital; the control group
did not. At entry, chi-square and stepwise logistic analysis revealed no
statistical difference between the groups. After entry, all patients had
follow-up for the remainder of the admission. The IP group subsequently
had a significantly lower severity score based on the hospital course
after entry (P less than .01). Multivariant analysis separated the groups
on the basis of the outcome variables (P less than .0001). The control
patients required ventilatory assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more
frequently than patients in the IP group. These data suggest that
intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial
therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU.
The following pages make reference to this article:
The following make critical remarks:
Some more that reference it:
- Interview with
Larry Dossey, M.D. author of "Healing Words", by Daniel Redwood, D.C.
- A Skeptic's Notebook, by Robert Baker, refering to "Healing Words".
- Religion: Studies Try to Measure the Healing Power of Prayer,
by Joseph Pereira, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal,
The Wall Street Journal, 12/20/95.
- God in the CCU?
A Critique of the San Francisco Hospital Study on
Intercessory Prayer and Healing by
Gary P. Posner, M.D.
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