Prayer, Noetic Studies Feasible; Results Indicate Benefit to Heart Patients

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2005-07-04 10:18

Healing Prayer and Heart

Cardiac patients who received intercessory prayer in addition to coronary stenting appeared to have better clinical outcomes than those treated with standard stenting therapy alone, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Their results further suggest that using rigorous scientific methods to study the therapeutic value of prayer and other noetic interventions appears feasible and warrants larger-scale, more definitive investigations. Noetic interventions are defined as "a healing influence performed without the use of a drug, device or surgical procedure," said the researchers.

Results of the phase I feasibility-pilot, known as the MANTRA (Monitoring and Actualization of Noetic TRAinings) Project, appear in the Nov. 1 issue of the American Heart Journal.

"We now know that clinically meaningful, high-quality research can be done in this area," said Duke cardiologist Dr. Mitch Krucoff, who co-directs the study with Suzanne Crater, a Duke nurse practitioner. "The data are suggestive that there may be a measurable therapeutic benefit related to noetic therapies in patients undergoing angioplasty."

Patients who received noetic therapies showed a 25 to 30 percent reduction in adverse outcomes (such as death, heart failure, post-procedural ischemia, repeat angioplasty or heart attack) than those without such therapies, according to the researchers. While increasingly popular outside of mainstream medicine, noetic therapies have not been widely studied with rigorous, scientific research methods. This study represents one of the first such efforts.

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