The Power Of Prayer in Healthcare - page 4
According to Oxford Dictionaries, prayer is defined as a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity. Although people usually associate praying with organized... Read More
Aug 5, '12Quote from Tragically HipWe provide evidence based care. But then, when it comes to religious belief, we don't? We practice faith-based care? Would you like to fly in an airplane designed on faith, or would you rather fly on an airplane designed on evidence-based principles?
Anecdotes mean little. We call all think of a hundred anecdotes to support any idea, from alien abduction to the effectiveness of intercessory prayer. We also tend to suffer from confirmation bias-we forget about the many people who are prayed for, but who have bad outcomes. We also tend to think that the occurrence of an unlikely event is a miracle, when unlikely events happen all the time.
Intercessory prayer is for the benefit of the one reciting the prayer. It gives people a sense of purpose when there is nothing they can actually do (and in some cases, they don't wish to do anything that costs them time or money).
Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer (New York Times, 2006):
Some people believed bleeding out the bad humours when a person had an infection, some do not. Some people believe that, for a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, prayer is sufficient. Others believe that chemotherapy is a better idea.
We're talking about people's lives here. If praying comforts them, or rubbing a rabbits foot does, whether they're the patient or the family, then by all means, they can do as they like. I am concerned about validating magical thinking, though.
There may be a physiological benefit for oneself in doing meditation, or praying, which might have the same effect meditation, but there is not a single shred of good empirical evidence that it does anything at all for anyone else. And it's a curious thing among those who adhere to God-based religions. They are telling God what to do, as if he's a child who knows no better, or a tyrant at whose feet they must throw themselves in order to receive mercy. Is it a matter of popularity, and God will help those who can get a church-full of people to pray for them, but the person without friends is screwed?
Get back to me when a church-full of praying people get God to regenerate a lost limb.
I am very curious over the amount of spirituality on display on this Web site, and I mean all over. I've never seen anything like it among any group of professionals, much less, among those practicing a science-based, evidence-based profession. Is it a function of the personality types attracted to the profession, or to helping professions involving personal care? Is it a function of gender?
Those questions deserves further study.
Hear! Hear! correlation does not equal causation (basic psychological premise)
Aug 11, '12Quote from Been there,done thatWait, don't we want to prevent the cancers from growing their own blood supply?I am a reformed agnostic. I have been blessed by a divine intervention. I came across an article that actually documented an increase in a cancer patients blood supply to the affected area by the power of prayer from the congregation. I am so sorry I cannot share that link.
There are many things we cannot see or document. Nurses are scientific minded.
We should NOT let that close our minds or hearts to a higher power.
Aug 11, '12Quote from IndyThe power of prayer to convince people that they don't need treatment, hence their cancer gets worse?Wait, don't we want to prevent the cancers from growing their own blood supply?
Aug 12, '12Quote from Tragically Hipnursing is most certainly not only "science-based".I am very curious over the amount of spirituality on display on this Web site, and I mean all over. I've never seen anything like it among any group of professionals, much less, among those practicing a science-based, evidence-based profession. Is it a function of the personality types attracted to the profession, or to helping professions involving personal care? Is it a function of gender?
we practice by the holistic model, which entails body, mind, and spirit.
it makes sense to me then, that aspects of our nursing care would involve interventions other than "science-based".
allow me to preface the following, with stating that i do not agree with the interchange between prayer and meditation.
prayer (imo) is specific to religion...
whereas meditation is specific to spirituality...centering/grounding oneself....finding your core....clearing your mind.
i do not believe in prayer but do believe in a divine being/essence/energy/force.
that said, i do not pray because i believe that our lives are pretty much predestined.
and, if it is true that prayer worked for some (according to anecdotal stories), why wouldn't it work for others?
it doesn't make sense to me.
however i do believe in meditating and all it encompasses.
i believe in karma, healing thoughts, love, light, truth, etc.
and while i don't believe that God/cosmic force/divinity(whatever descriptor you choose to use) works as a magician, per se...
i do believe there is a powerful relationship between mind and body...
and that pts do heal faster and more completely, when subjected to a therapeutic environment (and all that it encompasses).
i do wish folks would be more respectful when discussing something so fiercely personal and cherished.
no reason to be derisive or condescending.
we as a people, are supposed to be better than that.
and commuter, is there any way to see that source/link, that we are (still) a Christian nation?
that just doesn't sound accurate.
i do understand what both sides are saying.
my only contention is that prayer and meditation should not be used interchangeably.
apples and oranges.
Aug 12, '12Quote from TheCommuteractually commuter, this is a misleading and untrue statement.Well, statistics prove that the United States is still very much a Christian nation by an overwhelming majority. In fact, nearly 80 percent of people in this country identify as Christians.
Statistics on Religion in America Report -- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
demographically, yes, the u.s. is a Christian nation...
in that the majority of citizens are Christian.
but legally and according to the constitution - absolutely not.
from the following link:
"Constitutionally speaking, then, the United States remains a secular nation with secular laws that are neutral toward religion, religious individuals and religious entities, where no religious belief system, tenet or church is established through legal enforcement. If America was a Christian Nation by law and was specifically spelled out as such in our Constitution, then our government would be no different than some Muslim countries whose Constitutions are based on Sharia law and Haditha writings - laws derived, interpreted and applied from the Koran, the sacred Scriptures of Islam and Mohammed's writings. The only difference, of course, would be that our Constitutional laws - if placed on a similar footing - would derive its authority, interpretation and application from the Holy Bible, the sacred scripture of Christianity. How this would be interpreted would be a dilemma."
Church State Council | Religious Pluralism and America's Christian Nation Debate
Aug 15, '12Quote from leslie :-DPlato might ask, Are all cherished things worthy of respect? How about religious views that condemn other groups? Might someone who is vehemently opposed to another person's lifestyle or sexual orientation not be the best choice as a caretaker for that other person?i do wish folks would be more respectful when discussing something so fiercely personal and cherished.
What do you do when you meet in the ER the parents of a child who has had a heavy loss of blood but no grave internal injuries, and who could almost certainly be saved by a few units of blood, but whose fate the parents would rather leave in God's hands?
In reality it's not all quite so cut-and-dried.
At the end of the day, nursing is an evidence-based profession. If the evidence shows that a particular technique (e.g., touching a patient with "energetic" crystals) has a therapeutic effect, then that technique should be widespread. We don't need an immediate explanation for how it works; just the evidence that it does. Likewise for penicillin when it was first used. On the other hand, if the evidence shows that crystals do no good, then is dealing with them worth the investment of time?
Aug 21, '12Quote from TheCommuterThank you for posting this!According to Oxford Dictionaries, prayer is defined as a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity. Although people usually associate praying with organized religion, prayers can incorporate spirituality without necessarily being religious. Prayer is also rather versatile because an individual can pray aloud, silently, alone, with a group, at a place of worship, or in the privacy of one's home.
In recent years, research has indicated that prayer might result in a multitude of beneficial outcomes for patients in healthcare facilities and in the community. According to Schiffman (2012), regular prayer and meditation has been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy. Growing evidence suggests that prayer might positively impact pain levels, stress and anxiety, severity of symptoms, recovery time, emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, longevity, and other important aspects of patient's lives.
Studies have actually shown that those who pray are physically and emotionally healthier than those who do not (Miller, 2008). Praying might very well be the driving force that helps some patients live longer and with enhanced quality of life. A recent survey reported in the Journal of Gerontology of 4,000 senior citizens in Durham, NC, found that people who prayed or meditated coped better with illness and lived longer than those who did not (Schiffman, 2012). Moreover, praying can sometimes ward off illnesses associated with stress or unhealthy living. In one National Institutes of Health funded study, individuals who prayed daily were shown to be 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than those without a regular prayer practice (Schiffman, 2012).
Prayer can be utilized as a powerful technique for drug-free stress reduction. According to Schiffman (2012), a wide variety of spiritual practices have been shown to help alleviate the stress levels, which are one of the major risk factors for disease. In general, patients are in relaxed states during times of prayer and meditation. Perhaps it is this meditative process that gives prayer one of its most outstanding benefits (Miller, 2008).
Furthermore, prayer may have an effect on patients' responses to disease processes. A 2011 study of inner city youth with asthma by researchers at the University of Cincinnati indicates that those who practiced prayer and meditation experienced fewer and less severe symptoms than those who had not (Schiffman, 2012). Also, research suggests that patients who are religious have speedier recovery times after major medical procedures. Research at Dartmouth Medical School found that patients with strong religious beliefs who underwent elective heart surgery were three times more likely to recover than those who were less religious (Schiffman, 2012).
Another positive aspect regarding the power of prayer is that it helps patients' social and interpersonal bonds with people become stronger. When we pray for those we know and love, it helps us to understand that person a little bit better (Miller, 2008). Prayer can be the glue that forges that intangible connection with people.
Science strongly indicates that patients who engage in prayer and meditation experience health benefits. Some of the benefits of the power of prayer are measurable, while others cannot directly be measured or observed. These findings are exciting and certainly warrant further study. In summary, if our patients feel spiritually and emotionally at peace while praying, who are we to stop them?