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Altern Ther Health Med. 2006 Nov-Dec;12(6):42-8.

The effect of intercessory prayer on wound healing in nonhuman primates.

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1
Department of Psychology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study was performed to examine the effects of intercessory prayer (IP) on wound healing and related physiological and behavioral factors in nonhuman primates.

DESIGN:

Twenty-two bush babies (Otolemur garnettii) with chronic self-injurious behavior (SIB) were stratified by wound severity and matched by total wound area. The animals were then randomized to IP and L-tryptophan or L-tryptophan only for treatment of SIB and related wounds. The IP intervention was conducted in a double-blind, randomized manner. Prayer was conducted daily for 4 weeks. Initiation of prayer was coincident with the first day of L-tryptophan administration. Physiological and behavioral variables were assessed at baseline and end of study.

RESULTS:

Following IP/L-tryptophan treatment, prayer-group animals had a reduction in wound size compared to non-prayer animals (P=.028). Prayer-group animals had a greater increase in red blood cells (P=.006), hemoglobin (P=.01), and hematocrit (P=.018); a greater reduction in both mean corpuscular hemoglobin (P=.023) and corpuscular volume (P=.008); and a reduction in wound grooming (P=.01) and total grooming behaviors (P=.04) than non-prayer-group animals.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study are consistent with prior human trials of IP effectiveness, but suggest IP-induced health improvements may be independent of confounds associated with human participants. Findings may provide direction for study of the mechanisms of IP-induced health improvements in both human and animal models.

PMID:
17131981
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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