Friday, March 31, 2006

"I'll Pray For You."

No thank you. I'd rather you didn't.

"...the complication rate was significantly higher for the 352 of 601 patients (59%) who were confident that others were praying for them, compared with the 315 of 604 (52%) of patients uncertain of such prayers (RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28) but who received them, Dr. Benson and colleagues reported in the April 4 issue of the American Heart Journal. The primary outcome was complications in 30 days....The complication rate was 51% (304 of 597) for those who were uncertain of intercessory prayers but did not get them."

Now, I'm not saying this means anything at all, but it sure looks like the people who got prayed for were worse-off in the end.

"At enrollment, most subjects did expect to receive prayers from others, regardless of their participation in the study. We also recognize that subjects may have prayed for themselves. Thus, our study subjects may have been exposed to a large amount of non-study prayer, and this could have made it more difficult to detect the effects of prayer provided by the intercessors."

This has got to be one of the more humorous studies that I've seen. Obviously, it doesn't mean anything. Now, if there had been some massive recovery rate among the patients who had been prayed for, well, then I'd have to take it a bit more seriously. But, all in all, the numbers are fairly even. So, yeah, I think I'll pass on the prayer anyway, though. How about a hug? (:

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