Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
The effect of intercessory prayer on quality of life of multiple sclerosis patients
Jahangir A., Maftoon F., Sedighi J., Karbakhsh M., Farzadi F., Khodai Sh.
Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, Tehran, Iran
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological disorders worldwide, afflicting more than one million people. This chronic and debilitating condition usually starts from young ages and does not have any curative treatments. Intercessory prayer is one of the methods of complementary medicine which have shown effectiveness in improving the heath state in different conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or even infertility. We aim to study the effects of intercessory prayer on quality of life of MS 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 performed on 12 MS patients admitted to a health care clinic. The patients were told about the method of intervention and filled in the consent form. Weekly sessions Hands-on prayer and remote intercessory prayer was performed for 8 weeks. Quality of life was measured before and after the trial with Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life (MSQOL-54) instrument. Pain was one of the sub-scales of physical health composite
Wilcoxon signed ranks test through SPSS version 10 was used for non-parametric statistical analysis.
The trained physicians treated patients with Intercessery prayer free of charge. Lack of financial support prohibited research on larger sample size.
Each patient received 7 times of hands-on and 14 times of remote intercessory prayer. The patients showed a significant improvement in the area of physical health, energy, and physical health composite (P=0.04, P=0.02 and P=0.02 respectively). All of them also announced subjective improvement in their motivation and mood.
This study shows the effectiveness of intercessory prayer on some aspects of quality of life in the patients with disease as multiple sclerosis. Controlled studies with larger sample sizes and longer intervention and follow-up period are recommended to support this 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.