Is prayer effective in the alleviation of ill-health?

From: The Cochrane Collaboration

Journal rating:
rating: 98%
Study Quality:
rating: 85%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 65%
rating: 0%


  • 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)


Editors Notes

  • The authors conclude that intercessory prayer is neither significantly beneficial nor harmful for those who are ill.