Faith healing

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Faith healing is a form of spiritual therapy that is "the use of faith and spirit to cure disease."[1]

Direct contact prayer

Direct contact person-to-person prayer may be useful according to randomized controlled trials. [2][3] Faith based cognitive behavioral therapy may not be helpful in treating depression.[4]

Intercessory prayer

The Cochrane Collaboration concludes "although some of the results of individual studies suggest a positive effect of intercessory prayer,the majority do not and the evidence does not support a recommendation either in favour or against the use of intercessory prayer."[5] Another review concludes that "intercessory prayer lacks a theoretical or theological base and has failed to produce significant findings in controlled trials."[6]

Among the negative trials:

  • One negative trial was a factorial design using distant prayer.[7]
  • One trial included in the review by the Cochrane randomized patients to controls, prayer with awareness, and prayer without awareness.[8]

Prayer as a coping strategy

The role of prayer as a coping strategy has been reviewed.[9]

References

  1. Anonymous (2015), Faith healing (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Boelens PA, Reeves RR, Replogle WH, Koenig HG (2009). "A randomized trial of the effect of prayer on depression and anxiety.". Int J Psychiatry Med 39 (4): 377-92. PMID 20391859[e]
  3. Bay PS, Beckman D, Trippi J, Gunderman R, Terry C (2008). "The effect of pastoral care services on anxiety, depression, hope, religious coping, and religious problem solving styles: a randomized controlled study.". J Relig Health 47 (1): 57-69. DOI:10.1007/s10943-007-9131-4. PMID 19105001. Research Blogging.
  4. Propst LR, Ostrom R, Watkins P, Dean T, Mashburn D (1992). "Comparative efficacy of religious and nonreligious cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of clinical depression in religious individuals.". J Consult Clin Psychol 60 (1): 94-103. PMID 1556292[e]
  5. Roberts L, Ahmed I, Hall S, Davison A (2009). "Intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD000368. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD000368.pub3. PMID 19370557. Research Blogging.
  6. Masters KS, Spielmans GI, Goodson JT (2006). "Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review.". Ann Behav Med 32 (1): 21-6. DOI:10.1207/s15324796abm3201_3. PMID 16827626. Research Blogging.
  7. Krucoff MW, Crater SW, Gallup D, Blankenship JC, Cuffe M, Guarneri M et al. (2005). "Music, imagery, touch, and prayer as adjuncts to interventional cardiac care: the Monitoring and Actualisation of Noetic Trainings (MANTRA) II randomised study.". Lancet 366 (9481): 211-7. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)66910-3. PMID 16023511. Research Blogging.
  8. Benson H, Dusek JA, Sherwood JB, Lam P, Bethea CF, Carpenter W et al. (2006). "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 151 (4): 934-42. DOI:10.1016/j.ahj.2005.05.028. PMID 16569567. Research Blogging.
  9. Masters KS, Spielmans GI (2007). "Prayer and health: review, meta-analysis, and research agenda.". J Behav Med 30 (4): 329-38. DOI:10.1007/s10865-007-9106-7. PMID 17487575. Research Blogging.