Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review

@article{Masters2006AreTD,
  title={Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review},
  author={Kevin S. Masters and Glen I. Spielmans and Jason T Goodson},
  journal={Annals of Behavioral Medicine},
  year={2006},
  volume={32},
  pages={21-26}
}
Background: The use of alternative treatments for illness is common in the United States. Practitioners of these interventions find them compatible with personal philosophies. Consequently, distant intercessory prayer (IP) for healing is one of the most commonly practiced alternative interventions and has recently become the topic of scientific scrutiny.Purpose: This study was designed to provide a current meta-analytic review of the effects of IP and to assess the impact of potential moderator… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

A Practical Meta-Analysis of Prayer Efficacy in Coping with Mental Health
Given the large number of people who identify as religious in the United States and the large number of the overall population diagnosed with a mental illness, there is a need for linking an easily
Prayer as a pain intervention: protocol of a systematic review of randomised controlled trials
TLDR
This systematic review will seek to summarise and integrate the existing findings from randomised controlled trials assessing the effects of prayer and prayer-based interventions on pain experience and provide evidence for prayer effectiveness in reducing pain intensity and pain-related stress and increasing pain tolerance in adults experiencing acute or chronic pain.
Prayer and Health: Review, Meta-Analysis, and Research Agenda
TLDR
The empirical research on prayer and health is reviewed and suggestions for future research include the conduct of experimental studies based on conceptual models that include precise operationally defined constructs, longitudinal investigations with proper measure of control variables, and increased use of ecological momentary assessment techniques.
The Use of Intercessory Prayer to Reduce Disruptive Behaviors of Patients With Dementia
TLDR
It is suggested that it is feasible to improve the life quality of patients in the terminal phase of their illness through prayer reducing their need to respond to life in a disturbed manner.
A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature on Intercessory Prayer
Perhaps surprisingly, many social workers appear to use intercessory prayer in direct practice settings. To help inform practitioners' use of this intervention, this article evaluates the empirical
Extending the Non-Contact Healing Paradigm to Explore Distant Mental Interaction Effects of Pagan Healing Spells
TLDR
This thesis investigates the healing practices of modern Paganism using a mixed methods approach across three phases using a meta-analysis of existing non-contact healing research and a randomised controlled trial of Pagan healing spells.
A randomized clinical trial on the effects of remote intercessory prayer in the adverse outcomes of pregnancies.
TLDR
No significant differences were detected in the frequency of adverse outcomes in pregnant women who practiced IP and those in the control group, and the following parameters were evaluated: Apgar scores, type of delivery and birth weight.
Complementary Spiritist Therapy: Systematic Review of Scientific Evidence
TLDR
A systematic review of the current literature on the relationship among health outcomes and 6 predictors of prayer, laying on of hands, magnetized/fluidic water, charity/volunteering, spirit education (virtuous life and positive affect), and spirit release therapy finds that science is indirectly demonstrating that some of these therapies can be associated to better health outcomes.
Transpersonal Healing: Assessing the Evidence from Laboratory and Clinical Trials
TLDR
While results do not offer clear evidence to support DHI as an evidence-based modality, this provocative field reveals important epistemological and ontological implications for bridging science and spirituality.
Weighing the Evidence: What Is Revealed by 100+ Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews of Religion/Spirituality and Health?
This chapter reviews the more than 100 meta-analyses and systematic reviews of relations between religion/spirituality (R/S) and health that have been published in refereed journals, a far larger
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 38 REFERENCES
A randomized trial of the effects of remote intercessory prayer: interactions with personal beliefs on problem-specific outcomes and functional status.
TLDR
Prayer intervention appeared to effectively reduce the subject's level of concern only if the subject initially believed that the problem could be resolved, and this is consistent with the literature showing the relevance of belief in health and well-being in general.
Research on the Healing Power of Distant Intercessory Prayer: Disconnect between Science and Faith
TLDR
It is argued that the experimental methods of science are based on important assumptions that render them ill-equipped to study divine intervention and consequently produce non-interpretable findings.
The efficacy of "distant healing": a systematic review of randomized trials.
TLDR
A systematic review of the available data on the efficacy of any form of "distant healing" (prayer, mental healing, Therapeutic Touch, or spiritual healing) as treatment for any medical condition found that approximately 57% of trials showed a positive treatment effect.
The effects of intercessory prayer, positive visualization, and expectancy on the well-being of kidney dialysis patients.
TLDR
The effects of intercessory prayer and transpersonal positive visualization cannot be distinguished from the effect of expectancy, and therefore those 2 interventions do not appear to be effective treatments.
Intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health.
TLDR
The effectiveness of intercessory prayer as an additional intervention for those with health problems already receiving standard medical care is reviewed to justify further study into the human aspects of the effects of prayer.
THE OBJECTIVE EFFICACY OF PRAYER: A DOUBLE-BLIND CLINICAL TRIAL.
Systematic Review of Clinical Trials Examining the Effects of Religion on Health
TLDR
It was shown that intercessory prayer may improve health outcomes in patients admitted to a coronary care unit but showed no effect on alcohol abuse, and non-RCTs indicate that religious activities appear to benefit blood pressure, immune function, depression, and mortality.
Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population
  • R. Byrd
  • Medicine
    Southern medical journal
  • 1988
TLDR
It is suggested that intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU.
Effects of Intercessory Prayer on Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis
TLDR
In-person intercessory prayer may be a useful adjunct to standard medical care for certain patients with rheumatoid arthritis and showed significant overall improvement during 1-year follow-up.
A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit.
TLDR
Remote, intercessory prayer was associated with lower CCU course scores, suggesting that prayer may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care.
...
1
2
3
4
...