Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Effect of intercessory prayer on ferritin and hemoglobin in major thalassemia, Tehran, 2001-2002
Jahangir A., Khodaii Sh., Karbakhsh M., Maftoon F., Shariati M.
Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research
Intercessory prayer (IP) is one of the newly re-cognized holistic treatment methods and its effectiveness has been documented on the management of different disease such as CHD, RA, and infertility. This study aims to determine its effect on ferritin and blood indices of thalassemic major patients.
In Iranian tradional medicine doctors were called Hakim. In addition to providing patients with conventional treatment, Hakim held or moved his hands over the head of their patients while he was praying for patient's health.
This before-after study was conducted on seven patients who were visited at an outpatient clinic and had received IP in addition to their routine treatment. SPSS version 10 was used for statistical analysis.
The trained physicians treated patients with Intercessery prayer free of charge. Lack of financial support prohibited research on larger sample size.
85.6% of patients were female and mean age was 14. In average, IP was performed 5.86 times for each patient as close-laying of hands and 6 times as remote IP. Before the study, the mean hemoglobin was 9.7 mg/dl, which reached 10.8 afterwards (p=0.028) (Wilcoxon signed ranks test). Mean serum ferritin was 2246.8 before the intervention which decreased to 1680.8 afterwards. Meanwhile, one of the patients had nearly halved the frequency and dose of desferral injections on her own. Ignoring this case, mean serum ferritin after intervention would decrease to 1476.5.
Blood transfusion interval doubled in four patients. Dizziness and fatigue, which were reported by two patients before intervention, disappeared afterwards. Three patients reported an improvement in their school performance after the study.
This study shows the effectiveness of Intercersory prayer in increasing hemoglobin and transfusion interval, decreasing ferritin and improving school performance in patients with major thalassemia. Blinded trials with larger sample sizes are suggested for more elaboration on this obvious effect.
One of the great masters in the medicine and healing art indicate that the beneficial effects of Intercessory prayer on healing are so convincing that it is not Justifiable to deprive patients.