Study of the therapeutic effects of proximal intercessory prayer (STEPP) on auditory and visual impairments in rural Mozambique.
South Med J. 2010 Sep;103(9):864-9. PMID: 20686441
Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University, 1033 E 3rd St., Bloomington, IN 47405-7005, USA. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Proximal intercessory prayer (PIP) is a common complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy, but clinical effects are poorly understood, partly because studies have focused on distant intercessory prayer (DIP). METHODS: This prospective study used an audiometer (Earscan(R) 3) and vision charts (40 cm, 6 m "Illiterate E") to evaluate 24 consecutive Mozambican subjects (19 males/5 females) reporting impaired hearing (14) and/or vision (11) who subsequently received PIP interventions. RESULTS: We measured significant improvements in auditory (P<0.003) and visual (P<0.02) function across both tested populations. CONCLUSIONS: Rural Mozambican subjects exhibited improved audition and/or visual acuity subsequent to PIP. The magnitude of measured effects exceeds that reported in previous suggestion and hypnosis studies. 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.