Is prayer effective in the alleviation of ill-health?
From: The Cochrane Collaboration
- Roberts, L., Ahmed, I., Hall, S., Davison, A., 1996. Intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health, in: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Ten studies are included in this review including 7,646 patients.
- The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
- This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.
- For the comparison of intercessory prayer plus standard care versus standard care alone, overall there was no clear effect of intercessory prayer on death.
- Four studies found no effect for re-admission to Coronary Care Unit.
- Two other trials found intercessory prayer had no effect on re-hospitalisation
- No (with confidence)
- The authors conclude that intercessory prayer is neither significantly beneficial nor harmful for those who are ill.