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Disease Prevention

Research Study Finds Prayer Associated with Healthy Behaviors


Adults who pray for their health have better health-related behaviors, use more preventative services and have greater satisfaction with their care, found a new study by the HealthPartners Research Foundation.

The study found that of the 52.8 percent of subjects who reported praying for their health, 90.3 percent believed prayer improved their health.

"Simply praying for your health may or may not subsequently improve it," said Dr. Patrick J. O'Connor, senior clinical investigator for HealthPartners Research Foundation and the study's principal investigator.

"However, the use of prayer has an independent association with other health-promoting behaviors such as avoiding or using less tobacco and alcohol, consuming more fruits and vegetables, and participating in more physical activity. In addition, those who pray are more likely to receive regular preventive care from a physician."

"Clinicians should take into account whether or not their patients pray for their health," said O'Connor. "Knowledge of a patient's spiritual orientation may help a physician tailor health recommendations for the patient."

The study results were published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

HealthPartners is the largest consumer governed non-profit health care organization in the nation and is committed to improving the health of its members, patients and the community.

For more information on the HealthPartners Research Foundation, visit www.healthpartners.com.


© 2005 Health Resources Publishing