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Prayer Helps Cardiac Patients

Gives them confidence, hope and sense of control, study finds

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

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THURSDAY, Nov. 4, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Heart surgery patients can gain hope, confidence, optimism and a sense of control through religious faith and prayer, according to new University of Michigan research.

The researchers studied 224 cardiac patients over 19 months for their prayer coping and religiosity, general health and mental health, cardiac status, social support, depression, and socio-demographic factors.

They concluded there was a strong link between religiosity and a patient's ability to feel in control of their health situation, and that believers depended on the spiritual support of a higher power in their regular life.

"The day before a major cardiac procedure, an uncontrollable event, is a life-altering moment," Amy Ai, a researcher of integrative medicine, said in a prepared statement.

"The fact that the surgical and medical team would determine the immediate outcomes provides an intriguing window into the positive attitudes such as hope, optimism and perceived control and faith of cardiac patients," Ai said.

The findings appear in the current issue of the Journal of Health Psychology.

"A core value shared by many religious traditions is surrendering to God which discourages over-assertion of personal control in a bond to the divine," Ai said.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about spirituality and health.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, Oct. 27, 2004


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