TABLE 1. Patients' Status on Entry


Entry Variables

Intercessory
Prayer Group

(n = 192)

Control
Group

(n = 201)

P

Age (mean ± SD)

58.2 ± 14.8

60.1 ± 15.0

NS

Sex: Female

65

63

NS

Male

127

138

NS

Time (days, mean ± SD)*

0.9 ± 1.2

0.9 ± 1.1

NS

Primary Cardiac Diagnosis

%

(No.)

%

(No.) P
Congestive heart failure

33

(63)

33

(66) NS
Cardiomegaly

32

(62)

32

(64) NS
prior myocardial infarction

30

(57)

26

(50) NS
Acute myocardial infarction

27

(51)

29

(58) NS
Unstable angina

25

(48)

30

(61) NS
Chest pain, cause unknown

19

(36)

15

(31) NS
Acute pulmonary edema

13

(25)

13

(27) NS
Syncope

11

(21)

6

(12) NS
Cardiomyopathy

8

(16)

9

(17) NS
Supraventricular tachyarrhythmia

8

(15)

12

(24) NS
VT/VF

8

(14)

9

(17) NS
Intubation/ventilation

6

(11)

10

(19) NS
Valvular heart disease

5

(8)

8

(15) NS
Hypotension (systolic <90 torr)

4

(8)

5

(10) NS
Cardiopulmonary arrest

4

(8)

6

(12) NS
Third-degree heart block

2

(3)

1

(1) NS

Primary Noncardiac Diagnosis

Diabetes mellitus

8

(16)

9

(18) NS
COPD

8

(15)

10

(19) NS
Gastrointestinal bleeding

5

(10)

2

(3) NS
Severe hypertension

5

(10)

7

(13) NS
Pneumonia

5

(9)

4

(7) NS
.Chronic renal failure

4

(8)

4

(8) NS
Trauma

4

(7)

3

(6) NS
Cerebrovascular accident

4

(7)

2

(4) NS
Drug overdose

3

(5)

3

(5) NS
Sepsis

2

(3)

2

(4) NS
Cirrhosis of the liver

2

(9)

1

(2) NS
Pulmonary emboli

1

(2)

1

(1) NS
Systemic emboli

1

(2)

0

(0) NS
Hepatitis

0

(0)

1

(2) NS

NS = P > .05. VT/NF = ventricular tachycardia/ventricular
fibrillation;
COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
*Time from admission to the coronary care unit to
randomization.

daily devotional prayer and active Christian fellowship with a local church. Members of several protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church were represented among the intercessors. Patients and intercessors were not matched by religion or denomination. After randomization, each patient was assigned to three to seven intercessors. The patients' first name, diagnosis, and general condition, along with pertinent updates in their condition, were given to the intercessors. The intercessory prayer was done outside of the hospital daily until the patient was discharged from the hospital. Under the direction of a coordinator, each intercessor was asked to pray daily for a rapid recovery and for prevention of complications and death, in addition to other areas of prayer they believed to be beneficial to the patient.

DATA ANALYSIS
   I collected the information on each patient in a blinded manner, without knowledge of the spiritual status, condition, or ideas of the entrants during the study. Data were subsequently collated

TABLE 2. Results of Intercessory Prayer


Study Variable

Intercessory
Prayer

Control
Group

P

Days in CCU after entry

2.0 ± 2.5

2.4 ± 4.1

NS

Days.in hospital after entry

7.6 ± 8.9

7.6 ± 8.7

NS

Number of discharge medications

3.7 ± 2.2

4.0 ± 2.4

NS

New Problems, Diagnoses, and Therapeutic Events After Entry

%

(No.)

%

(No.) P
Antianginal agents

11

(21)

10

(19) NS
Unstable angina

10

(20)

9

(18) NS
Antiarrhythmics

9

(17)

13

(27) NS
Coronary angiography

9

(17)

11

(21) NS
VTNF

7

(14)

9

(17) NS
Readmissions to CCU

7

(14)

7

(14) NS
Mortality

7

(13)

9

(17) NS
Congestive heart failure

4

(8)

10

(20) <0.01
Inotropic agents

4

(8)

8

(16) NS
Vasodilators

4

(8)

6

(12) NS
Supraventricular tachyarrhythmia

4

(8)

8

(15) NS
Arterial pressure monitoring

4

(7)

8

(15) NS
Central pressure monitoring

3

(6)

7

(15) NS
Diuretics

3

(5)

8

(15) <0.01
Major surgery before discharge

3

(5)

7

(14) NS
Temporary pacemaker

2

(4)

1

(1) NS
Sepsis

2

(4)

4

(7) NS
Cardiopulmonary arrest

2

(3)

7

(14) <0.01
Third-degree heart block

2

(3)

1

(2) NS
Pneumonia

2

(3)

7

(13) <0.01
Hypotension (systolic <90 torr)

2

(3)

4

(7) NS
Extension of infarction

2

(3)

3

(6) NS
Antibiotics

2

(3)

9

(17) <0.01
Permanent pacemaker

2

(3)

1

(1) NS
Gastrointestinal bleeding

1

(1)

2

(3) NS
Intubation/ventilation

0

(0)

6

(12) <0.01

NS = P > .05; VT/NF = ventricular tachycardia or ventricular
fibrillation

and entered into a PDP-11 computer for analysis using the Biomedical Data Processing (BMDP) statistical package.7 The data were analyzed with an unpaired t-test for interval data and a chi square test (or Fisher's exact test when necessary) for categorical data. A stepwise logistic regression was used for the multivariate analysis.8, 9 Interval data were expressed as the mean ± 1 standard deviation.

RESULTS
   Data collected on each patient as he entered in the study (Table 1) revealed the condition of the patient groups at the time informed consent was signed. The 109 patients with acute myocardial infarction had the following Killip's classification class I, 16% (prayer group) vs 16% (control group); class II, 8% vs 10%; class III, 1% vs 1%, and class IV, 2% vs 2% (P = NS). Univariate and multivariate analysis showed no statistic differences between the two groups at entry. Thus, it was concluded that the two groups were statistically inseparable and that results from the analysis of the effects of intercessory prayer would be valid.
   After entry, all patients had follow-up for the remainder of the hospitalization. New problems, new diagnoses, and new therapeutic interventions that occurred after entry into the study were recorded and are summarized in Table 2. Of the

Byrd • INTERCESSORY PRAYER 827

826 | 827 | 828 | 829


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