The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Adjunct in surgery (perioperative management), angioplasty, arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), cystic fibrosis, gastrointestinal disorders, immune system stimulation, increased cerebral blood flow, inflammatory dermatoses, lung disease, lung function (successful liberation from prolonged mechanical ventilation), meningitis, menopause, neurological disorders, respiratory disease, self-esteem, spinal cord injury, stress, stroke, viral infection (polio), wound healing.
Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Prayer is not recommended as the sole treatment approach for potentially serious medical conditions and should not delay the time it takes to consult with a healthcare professional or receive established therapies. Sometimes religious beliefs come into conflict with standard medical approaches and an open dialog between patients and caregivers is recommended.
This patient information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): William Collinge, PhD, MPH (Collinge & Associates); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jacquelyn Guilford PhD, MBA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Karen Hopenwasser MD (Weill Medical College, Cornell University); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Benson H, Dusek JA, Sherwood JB, et al. Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: a multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer. Am Heart J. 2006 Apr;151(4):934-42.
Blumenthal JA, Babyak MA, Ironson G, et al. Spirituality, religion, and clinical outcomes in patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction. Psychosom Med 2007 Jul-Aug;69(6):501-8.
Cha KY, Wirth DP, Lobo RA. Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer? Report of a masked, randomized trial. J Reprod.Med 2001;46(9):781-787.
Collipp PJ. The efficacy of prayer: a triple-blind study. Med Times 1969;97(5):201-204.
Dossey L. Prayer and medical science: a commentary on the prayer study by Harris et al and a response to critics. Arch Intern.Med 6-26-2000;160(12):1735-1737.
Hamm RM. No effect of intercessory prayer has been proven. Arch Intern Med 6-26-2000;160(12):1872-1873.
Harris WS, Gowda M, Kolb JW, et al. A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit. Arch Intern Med 10-25-1999;159(19):2273-2278.
Hoover DR, Margolick JB. Questions on the design and findings of a randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit. Arch Intern Med 6-26-2000;160(12):1875-1876.
Ikedo F, Gangahar DM, Quader MA, et al. The effects of prayer, relaxation technique during general anesthesia on recovery outcomes following cardiac surgery. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2007 May;13(2):85-94.
Krucoff MW, Crater SW, Gallup D, et al. Music, imagery, touch, and prayer as adjuncts to interventional cardiac care: the Monitoring and Actualisation of Noetic Trainings (MANTRA) II randomised study. Lancet 7-16-2005;366(9481):211-217.
Masters KS, Spielmans GI. Prayer and health: review, meta-analysis, and research agenda. J Behav Med 2007 Aug;30(4):329-38.
Matthews DA, Marlowe SM, MacNutt FS. Effects of intercessory prayer on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. South Med J 2000;93(12):1177-1186.
Narayanasamy A, Narayanasamy M. The healing power of prayer and its implications for nursing. Br J Nurs 2008 Mar 27-Apr 9;17(6):394-8.
Roberts L, Ahmed I, Hall S. Intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007 Jan 24;(1):CD000368.
Sicher F, Targ E, Moore D, et al. A randomized double-blind study of the effect of distant healing in a population with advanced AIDS. Report of a small scale study. West J Med 1998;169(6):356-363.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children,
never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.