The effect of prayer on depression and anxiety: maintenance of positive influence one year after prayer intervention.

Published

Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the effect of direct contact person-to-person prayer on depression, anxiety, and positive emotions is maintained after 1 year. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: One-year follow-up of subjects with depression and anxiety who had undergone prayer intervention consisting of six weekly 1-hour prayer sessions conducted in an office setting. Subjects (44 women) completed Hamilton Rating Scales for Depression and Anxiety, Life Orientation Test, and Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale after finishing a series of six prayer sessions and then again a month later in an initial study. The current study reassessed those subjects with the same measures 1 year later. One-way repeated measures ANOVAs were used to compare findings pre-prayer, immediately following the six prayer sessions, and 1 month and again 1 year following prayer interventions. RESULTS: Evaluations post-prayer at 1 month and 1 year showed significantly less depression and anxiety, more optimism, and greater levels of spiritual experience than did the baseline (pre-prayer) measures (p < 0.01 in all cases). CONCLUSIONS: Subjects maintained significant improvements for a duration of at least 1 year after the final prayer session. Direct person-to-person prayer may be useful as an adjunct to standard medical care for patients with depression and anxiety. Further research in this area is indicated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Boelens, PA; Reeves, RR; Replogle, WH; Koenig, HG

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 85 - 98

PubMed ID

  • 22641932

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22641932

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-2174

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2190/PM.43.1.f

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States