Chronically ill patients treated by spiritual healing improve in quality of life: results of a randomized waiting-list controlled study

Journal Article

By: H; Werthmuller Wiesendanger, L; Reuter, K; Harald Walach
Publication Name: J Altern Complement Med
Year: 2001

OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the effects of distant healing in chronically ill patients, the population most likely to see a healer in practice. This study investigated whether distant healing as found in normal practice with patients representative of those seeking treatment from healers changes patients' quality of life substantially. METHOD: Randomized, waiting-list controlled study of distant healing (anonymous, amulet, and allowing for personal contact) in chronically ill patients. OUTCOME MEASURE: Patient-reported quality of life as expressed by the sum of all MOS SF-36 health survey items. RESULTS: Sixty patients were treated by various methods of distant healing over 5 months; 59 patients were put on a waiting list (control). Quality of life improved significantly (p < 0.0005) in the treated group (10 points), while it remained stable in the control group. Positive expectation was significantly correlated with outcome. CONCLUSION: Chronically ill patients who want to be treated by distant healing and know that they are treated improve in quality of life.

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