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Editor's Correspondence
June 26, 2000

God, Prayer, and Coronary Care Unit Outcomes: Faith vs Works?—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(12):1877-1878. doi:

In reply

We welcome the opportunity to respond to readers of the ARCHIVES regarding our study of intercessory prayer. Research on intercessory prayer is in its infancy, and there is much we do not understand. Our trial was an attempt to replicate and improve upon the earlier trial of Byrd.1 We asked whether the ancient tradition of praying for the sick could help them get better. We concluded that further studies were warranted "to explore the potential role of prayer as a possible adjunct to standard medical care."2 Several readers questioned whether the evidence we presented was strong enough to justify that conclusion. Given that it was supported by the positive outcomes of 2 blinded, prospective, controlled trials that were conducted more than a decade apart in 2 different research centers, we feel that it was justified.

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