"Intercessory Prayer"動向(2/7) 効果は見出せない by Matthews et al

ある人が別の人の健康のための祈れば、その別の人の健康に影響を及ぼすと主要される"intercessory prayer"について、Hines[2003]をたどってみていく2回目は、Matthews et al.[2000]による過去の調査から。Matthews et al.[2000]は従来のIntercessory Prayer研究で、有意な祈りの効果を観測できなかった文献を6個挙げた。それらは...

Joyce and Welldon[1965]は有意な結果は得られなかった。そして次のようにコメントしている:
In the area of intercessory prayer, we see people confusing anecdotal evidence with scientific research. In fact, many people were very eager to tell us why they think that intercessory prayer is therapeutic, but were quite disappointed (and occasionally quite distressed) when we told them that we were looking for evidence from controlled scientific studies.


Elkins et al.[1979]もほとんど効果を見出さなかった:
prayer produced less tension reduction than relaxation training but only slightly (non) significant more tension reduction than the control condition.

Subjects improved significantly on all 11 measures. Agents improved significantly on 10 measures. A significant positive correlation was found between the amount of prayer the agents did and their scores on the five objective tests. Agents had significantly better scores than did subjects on all objective measures. Subjects' views of the locus of God's action showed significance in three objective measures. Improvement on four objective measures was significantly related to subjects' belief in the power of prayer for others. Improvement on all II measures was significantly related to subjects' conviction concerning whether they had been assigned to a control or an experimental group. Possible explanations include the placebo/faith effect, the time displaced effect, and extraneous prayer.

Walker et al.[1996]
Intercessory prayer did not demonstrate clinical benefit in the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence under these study conditions. Prayer may be a complex phenomenon with many interacting variables.

Intercessory prayerは、これらの研究において、アルコール依存の治療において、臨床的な有効性を示さなかった。祈りは、多くの相互に作用している変数による複雑な現象であるかもしれない。

Wirth and Barrett[1994]
Results showed significance for the treated versus the control group but in the opposite direction from that expected.


有意な結果が出たByrd[1988]については、Tessman and Tessman[2000]と同様の批判を行っている。

Matthews and Contiたちによる実験でも

Matthews et al.[2000]の翌年にはMatthews et al.[2001]を行い、Intercessory Prayerに効果がみられないを示している。この実験では、患者たちは6群に分割された。

  • Intercessoy Prayerを受けられると告げられた
    • 実際にもIntercessoy Prayerを受けた
    • 実際にはPositive Visuallizationを受けた
    • 実際には何もしてもらえなかった

  • Positive Visuallizationを受けられると告げられた
    • 実際にはIntercessoy Prayerを受けた
    • 実際にもPositive Visuallizationを受けた
    • 実際には何もしてもらえなかった

結果は、告げられた内容に依存して、Intercessoy Prayerを受けると告げられた患者群が、Positive Visuallizationを受けられると告げられた患者群よりも状態がよかった。しかし、実際に何を受けたか、あるいは何もしてもらえらなかったかには、有意な差異が見られなかったというもの:
DESIGN: 2 x 3 (expectancy x treatment) factorial study.

PARTICIPANTS: 95 adult male and female volunteer hemodialysis subjects with end-stage renal disease from an outpatient clinic in Miami, Fla.

INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of the 6 treatment conditions.

RESULTS: Subjects who expected to receive intercessory prayer reported feeling significantly better than did those who expected to receive positive visualization (F1.93 = 5.42; P < .02). No other statistically significant main effects or interactions were found for either expectancy, intercessory prayer, or positive visualization on the remaining dependent measures. Analysis of effect sizes on all dependent measures failed to indicate even a small magnitude of effect for intercessory prayer as contrasted with expectancy on the medical or psychological variables.

Intercessory Prayerを受けると期待した人々は、positive visualizationを受けると期待した人々よりも、はるかに気分が良くなったと報告している(F1.93 = 5.42; P < .02)。他のいかなる統計学的に有意な影響もまたはインタラクションは、残りの従属する処置上でどちらの期待も、Intercessory Prayerあるいはpositive visualizationで見つからなかった。医学的あるいは精神的な変数の上で期待と比べて、全ての従属する方法のeffect size分析で、Intercessory Prayerについて、わずかの影響も見られなかった。

CONCLUSIONS: The effects of intercessory prayer and transpersonal positive visualization cannot be distinguished from the effect of expectancy. Therefore, those 2 interventions do not appear to be effective treatments.

結論: Intercessory Prayerとtranspersonal positve visualizationの効果は、期待の効果と区別できなかった。従って、これら2つの介入に治療効果は見られない。
詳細結果についてはConti et al.[2003]参照。


Matthews et al.[2000]が調べた時点で、Intercessory Prayerに有意な効果が見られと報告していたのはByrd[1988]だけだった。しかし、このByrd[1988]はPosner[1990]やTessman and Tessman[2000]が指摘するように、二重盲検が破れていたため、信頼できない。同様の指摘はMatthews et al.[2000]も行っている。

結局は、Intercessory Prayerそのものには効果は見出せないというのが、Matthews et al.[2000,2001]の結論だった。ただし、彼らはもちろん、サイコセラピーを否定するものではないMatthews et al.[1998]。


Byrd RC.: "Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population." Southern Medical Journal, 81:826-829, 1988.

Collipp PJ.: "The efficacy of prayer: a triple-blind study." Medical Times, 97:201-204, 1969.

Conti JM, Matthews WJ and Sirec SG: "Intercessory Prayer, Visualization, and Expectancy for Patients with Severe Illnesses", annals, winter 20-27, 2003.

Elkins D, Anchor KN, Sandler HM: "Relaxation training and prayer behavior as tension reduction techniques", Behavioral Engineering, 5(3), 81-87, 1979.

Green, W.M.: "Therapeutic Effects of Distant Intercessory Prayer and Patients' Enhanced Positive Expectation on Positive Recovery Rates and Anxiety Levels of Hospitalized Neurosurgical Pituitary Patients: A Double Blind Study", Dissertation Abstracts International, 54(5-B), 2752, 1993.

Hines T:"Pseudoscience and the Paranormal" 2nd edition, pp.378-381, 2003.

Joyce CRB, Welldon RMC.: "The objective efficacy of prayer: a double-blind clinical trial." Journal of Chronic Diseases, 18:367-377, 1965.

Matthews WJ, Conti JM, and Christ T: "God's HMO: Prayer, Faith, Belief, and Physical Well-Being", Skeptic, 8(2), 64-66, 2000.

Matthews WJ, Conti JM and Soreci SG: "The effects of intercessory prayer, positive visualization, and expectancy on the well-being of kidney dialysis patients", Altern Ther Health Med., 7(5), 42-52. 2001[Abstract]

Matthews WJ, Conti JM and Starr U: "Eridosonian Hypnosis: A review of the empirical data", in Current Thinking and Research in Brief Therapy II (ed. Matthews WJ and Edgette J), Philadelphiac Taylor, 1998

O’Laoire S.: "An experimental study of the effects of distant intercessory prayer on selfesteem, anxiety, and depression." Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3:38-53, 1997. [PubMed]

Posner GP: "God in the CCU?: A critique of the San Francisco hospital study on intercessory prayer and healing", Free Inequiry, 1990.

Tessman, I. and J. Tessman: "Efficacy of Prayer: A Critical Examination of Claims", Skeptic Inquirer, 24(2), 31-33, 2000.[コピー]

Walker SR, Tonigan JS, Miller WR, Comer S, Kalich L.: "Intercessory prayer in the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence: a pilot investigation." Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3:79-87, 1996.[PubMed]

Wirth DP and Barrett MJ: "Complementary healing therapies", International J. Psychosomatics, 41(1-4), 61-67, 1994.[PubMed]
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