The effects of prayer on Muslim patients' well-being
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of Islamic prayer (du’a, dhikr, and Qur’anic recitation) on Muslim patients. Relying on the Qur’an and sunnah, Islamic scholars state that prayer has positive effects on patients’ psychological and physical well-being. To examine this, the principal investigator recruited 60 adult in-patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Patients completed questionnaires that were used to assess the respondents’ psychological/emotional well being as well as determine the level of religiosity or spirituality (from an Islamic perspective). Vital sign recordings and self-report surveys were used before and after prayer sessions to measure effects of prayer. A non-religious text served as a control. Results support the hypothesis of the positive effects of prayer. A greater degree of religiosity/spirituality was associated with better psychological health. Physical changes were clinically insignificant but statistically meaningful.