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LETTER TO EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 193-194
Prayer, randomized controlled trials and healing: A response to Prof. Abraham Verghese


1 Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2010
 

How to cite this article:
Andrade C, Radhakrishnan R. Prayer, randomized controlled trials and healing: A response to Prof. Abraham Verghese. Indian J Psychiatry 2010;52:193-4

How to cite this URL:
Andrade C, Radhakrishnan R. Prayer, randomized controlled trials and healing: A response to Prof. Abraham Verghese. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2010 [cited 2019 Dec 13];52:193-4. Available from: http://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2010/52/2/193/64589


Sir,

We are grateful to Prof. Abraham Verghese [1] for his interest in our critical examination of the scientific literature on blinded, randomized controlled trials on prayer and healing. [2] We wish to make the following observations in response to his letter:

  1. We did not state that we "could not draw any conclusions" from our analysis. Rather, we argued with force and length that it is not possible to test the healing power of prayer through current methods of scientific enquiry.
  2. The fact that the subject of our enquiry has been so extensively studied indicates that a large number of scientists across the globe did expect to uncover the "conclusive evidence" to which Prof. Verghese refers. As scientists, we sought to examine whether their efforts were justified. Our critical analysis provides the reasons for the opinion expressed by Prof. Verghese that their efforts were little more than "a wild goose chase".
  3. We agree with Prof. Verghese that science and religion, like oil and water, do not mix; and that religious practice is associated with health benefits in diverse domains. [3] We indicated the latter in the preface to our paper [2] and with the very first reference that we had cited in it. However, as scientists, we are constrained to observe that the issues of cause, effect and confound remain to be resolved in this context. [4]


 
   References Top

1.Verghese A. Comment on Prayer and healing: A medical and scientific perspective on randomized controlled trials. Indian J Psychiatry 2010;52:In current issue  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Andrade C, Radhakrishnan R. Prayer and healing: A medical and scientific perspective on randomized controlled trials. Indian J Psychiatry 2009;51:247-53.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
3.Verghese A. Spirituality and mental health. Indian J Psychiatry 2008;50:233-7.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
4.Andrade C. Confounding. Indian J Psychiatry 2007;49:129-31.  Back to cited text no. 4    Medknow Journal  

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Correspondence Address:
Chittaranjan Andrade
Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.64589

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1 Prayer, randomized controlled trials and healing: A response to Prof. Abraham Verghese
Andrade, C., Radhakrishnan, R.
Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2010; 52(2): 193-194
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