Evid Based Nurs 3:81 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.3.81
  • Treatment

Patients in the coronary care unit who received remote, intercessory prayer had fewer overall adverse events, but did not have shorter hospital stays

 QUESTION: Among patients admitted to a coronary care unit (CCU), does remote, intercessory prayer (praying for others) reduce complications and length of hospital stay?


Randomised (allocation concealed), blinded (patients, clinicians, and outcome assessors), controlled trial.


A CCU in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.


1013 patients admitted to the CCU over a 12 month period. Patients admitted for work up before transplantation were excluded. Follow up was 98% (23 patients were excluded after randomisation because they were admitted for <1 day).


484 patients were allocated to intercessory prayer. A total of 75 intercessors were recruited from the community; all intercessors had to agree with the following statements: “I believe in God. I believe that He is personal and is concerned with individual lives. I further believe that He is responsive to prayers for healing made on behalf of the sick.” For each patient, a team of 5 intercessors, who received no information other than the first name of the patient, was asked to pray daily for the next 28 days for “a …

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