Original Article

Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Prayer (STEPP) on Auditory and Visual Impairments in Rural Mozambique

Authors: Candy Gunther Brown, PhD, Stephen C. Mory, MD, Rebecca Williams, MB BChir, DTM&H, Michael J. McClymond, PhD
diagnostic:14581

Abstract

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® 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.


Key Points


* Although commonly employed as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy, the clinical effects of proximal intercessory prayer (PIP) are poorly understood, partly because most research has focused on distant intercessory prayer (DIP).


* This study found a significant effect of PIP on auditory function across the tested population (P < 0.003).


* This study found a significant effect of PIP on visual function across the tested population (P < 0.02).


* Further 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.

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