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Prayer in Clinical Practice

What Does Evidence Support?

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/01.CNJ.0000435281.46537.d9
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Prayer in Clinical Practice: What Does Evidence Support?


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  • Read the article on pages 208-215.
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Registration Deadline: December 31, 2015


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General Purpose:

To provide information on appropriate, ethical prayer practice in the United States.

Learning Objectives:

After reading this article and taking this test, you should be able to:

  1. Examine different types of prayer and how often prayer is used in the United States.
  2. Identify the benefits and uses of prayer by patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs).
  1. In the 2004 Barna Group survey, a total of how many respondents prayed to God in the past week?
    1. 69%
    2. 77%
    3. 83%
    4. 91%
  2. In the Barna Group survey, how many atheists and agnostics admitted to praying?
    1. none
    2. 1 out of 10
    3. 2 out of 10
    4. 3 out of 10
  3. A 2010 USA TODAY/Gallup poll revealed a total of how many respondents who said that God answered their prayers?
    1. 72%
    2. 83%
    3. 89%
    4. 94%
  4. McCaffrey et (2004) reported that of those praying for specific medical conditions, a total of how many found prayer helpful?
    1. 51%
    2. 58%
    3. 64%
    4. 69%
  5. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which statement is true about prayer in the United States in the 12 months before their survey?
    1. Forty-three percent of respondents used prayer for their own health.
    2. Twelve percent participated in a prayer group for their own health.
    3. Thirty-two percent received prayer by others for their own health.
    4. Prayer is the second most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine.
  6. In a 2005 study by O'Connor et al., a total of how many of those who prayed for health believed prayer improved their health?
    1. 84.1%
    2. 87.9%
    3. 90.3%
    4. 94.5%
  7. In the O'Connor et study, compared to those who did not pray, persons who prayed were more likely to
    1. receive influenza immunizations.
    2. participate in a regular exercise program.
    3. consume more fish and poultry.
    4. live with a spouse or partner.
  8. All of the following are true regarding intercessory prayerexcept
    1. it intercedes between God and humans on behalf of someone else.
    2. there is trust that God will act for the good of another person.
    3. touch is involved frequently in proximal intercessory prayer (PIP).
    4. the person prayed for may not have approved of the prayer in distal intercessory prayer (DIP).
  9. Compared to DIP, PIP
    1. is one of the types of prayer most studied.
    2. has controversial findings.
    3. has shown no health benefits.
    4. has shown more positive effects on health.
  10. In a 2009 meta-analysis by Roberts et al., the researchers concluded intercessory prayer
    1. is a valuable aid in restoring health.
    2. could be spiritually detrimental if health does not improve.
    3. was not beneficial or harmful to sick persons.
    4. is only helpful if it is PIP, not DIP.
  11. Coleman et (2006) found prayer helpful for managing symptoms related to
    1. HIV.
    2. heart disease.
    3. cancer.
    4. renal disease.
  12. In the Coleman et study, which group was more likely to use prayer to manage symptoms?
    1. older Asians
    2. Native Americans
    3. Hispanics
    4. Eastern Europeans
  13. Hefti (2011) reported that 70%-80% of patients with what illness use religious coping to deal with daily difficulties and frustration?
    1. fibromyalgia
    2. rheumatoid arthritis
    3. multiple sclerosis
    4. psychiatric disorders
  14. Research by Ai et (2007) revealed that 88% of respondents intended to use prayer to cope with difficulties related to
    1. chemotherapy.
    2. surgery.
    3. dialysis.
    4. radiation therapy.
  15. Taylor and Mamier (2005) indicated how many family care givers wanted nurses to offer private prayers for patients?
    1. 68%
    2. 72%
    3. 89%
    4. 91%
  16. In the 2005 study by Tracy et al., which nurses reported that prayer is one of the most commonly used therapies for their patients?
    1. pediatric nurses
    2. labor and delivery nurses
    3. critical care nurses
    4. emergency nurses
  17. Matthews (2012) reported when nurses identify patients' spiritual needs, their next intervention after prayer is
    1. showing respect for cultural beliefs.
    2. providing comfort.
    3. sharing their own faith beliefs.
    4. referral to a chaplain.
  18. Koenig (2007) suggests that HCPs should initiate prayer only if all of the following conditions are metexcept
    1. a thorough spiritual history has been taken.
    2. the HCP uses DIP, not PIP, to help the patient.
    3. there is a spiritual need present and the situation calls for prayer.
    4. the HCP and patient have the same religious background.
© 2013 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship