Prayer Approach Positively Affects Hearing, Vision Impaired

Study in Mozambican subjects links proximal intercessory prayer to significant improvements
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Proximal intercessory prayer (PIP), a complementary and alternative medicine approach, may improve auditory and visual function in patients with impaired hearing and vision, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in the Southern Medical Journal.

Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D., of Indiana University in Bloomington, and colleagues evaluated 24 consecutive Mozambican patients (19 males and five females) with impaired hearing (14 patients) and/or vision (11 patients) who later received PIP intervention.

The researchers found significant improvements in auditory and visual function. A highly significant improvement in hearing was seen across the 18 ears of 11 patients analyzed. Two patients demonstrated hearing thresholds reduced by more than 50 dB HL. Significant improvements were also seen across the visually impaired group. Three of 11 patients improved from 6/120 or worse to 6/24 or better, with one subject improving from 6/2400 to 6/38.

"Although it would be unwise to overgeneralize from these preliminary findings for a small number of PIP practitioners and subjects collected in far-from-ideal field conditions, future study seems warranted to assess whether PIP may be a useful adjunct to standard medical care for certain patients with auditory and/or visual impairments, especially in contexts where access to conventional treatment is limited," the authors write.

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