remote, retroactive intercessory prayer

11 02 2010

Famous and hilarious study. Praying for people 10 years AFTER they’d been in hopsital lead to better outcomes. Maybe they repeated the study with different patient groups until they got the magic p value, maybe they just got lucky, still, shows why it’s important to ask the right question when thinking about conducting research. But lead to a lovely, controversial Chrsitmas BMJ issue!

BMJ 2001;323:1450-1451 ( 22-29 December )

Beyond science?

Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial

Leonard Leibovici, professor

Department of Medicine, Beilinson Campus, Rabin Medical Center, Petah-Tiqva 49100, Israel

leibovic@post.tau.ac.il

Objective: To determine whether remote, retroactive intercessory prayer, said for a group of patients with a bloodstream infection, has an effect on outcomes.
Design: Double blind, parallel group, randomised controlled trial of a retroactive intervention.
Setting: University hospital.
Subjects: All 3393 adult patients whose bloodstream infection was detected at the hospital in 1990-6.
Intervention: In July 2000 patients were randomised to a control group and an intervention group. A remote, retroactive intercessory prayer was said for the well being and full recovery of the intervention group.
Main outcome measures: Mortality in hospital, length of stay in hospital, and duration of fever.
Results: Mortality was 28.1% (475/1691) in the intervention group and 30.2% (514/1702) in the control group (P for difference=0.4). Length of stay in hospital and duration of fever were significantly shorter in the intervention group than in the control group (P=0.01 and P=0.04, respectively).
Conclusions: Remote, retroactive intercessory prayer said for a group is associated with a shorter stay in hospital and shorter duration of fever in patients with a bloodstream infection and should be considered for use in clinical practice.

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One response

2 03 2010
Nick

So much for informed consent.

You didn’t mention the follow-up study in which the control group was prayed for and failed to respond.

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