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Study of Prayer on Auditory and Visual Impairment

Posted Jul 10 2012 9:00am
The following is the abstract of a study published in the Southern Medical Journal on the effects of prayer on individuals with auditory and visual impairment.

Impairments in Rural Mozambique
Brown, Candy Gunther PhD; Mory, Stephen C. MD; Williams, Rebecca MB BChir, DTM&H; McClymond, Michael J. PhD

Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Prayer (STEPP) on Auditory and Visual

Background: Proximal intercessory prayer (PIP) is a common complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy, but clinical effects are poorly understood, partly because studies have focused on distant intercessory prayer (DIP).

Methods: This prospective study used an audiometer (Earscan® 3) and vision charts (40 cm, 6 m “Illiterate E”) to evaluate 24 consecutive Mozambican subjects (19 males/5 females) reporting impaired hearing (14) and/or vision (11) who subsequently received PIP interventions.

Results: We measured significant improvements in auditory (P <0.003) and visual (P <0.02) function across both tested populations.

Conclusions: Rural Mozambican subjects exhibited improved audition and/or visual acuity subsequent to PIP. The magnitude of measured effects exceeds that reported in previous suggestion and hypnosis studies. Future study seems warranted to assess whether PIP may be a useful adjunct to standard medical care for certain patients with auditory and/or visual impairments, especially in contexts where access to conventional treatment is limited.

Key Points

* Although commonly employed as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy, the clinical effects of proximal intercessory prayer (PIP) are poorly understood, partly because most research has focused on distant intercessory prayer (DIP).

* This study found a significant effect of PIP on auditory function across the tested population (P < 0.003).

* This study found a significant effect of PIP on visual function across the tested population (P < 0.02).

* Further study seems warranted to assess whether PIP may be a useful adjunct to standard medical care for certain patients with auditory and/or visual impairments, especially in contexts where access to conventional treatment is limited.

The full text of the article can be found here:
http://journals.lww.com/smajournalonline/Fulltext/2010/09000/Study_of_the_Therapeutic_Effects_of_Proximal.5.aspx
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