Perceptions of the Efficacy of Prayer and Conventional Medicine for Health Concerns
Previous research has associated prayer practices with positive health outcomes, but few studies have examined: (a) the perceptions of prayer in relation to perceptions of the efficacy of conventional medicine, and (b) whether the perceptions of prayer efficacy differ based on illness type, context of prayer, and whether prayer is for the self or someone else. The current study surveyed 498 emerging adults at a public university. Conventional medicine was perceived as more effective for alleviating health concerns overall, but participants perceived prayer as most effective when performed in a group setting for someone else. Individuals perceived prayer as more effective than conventional medicine when they reported greater religious activity, lower health locus of control, and higher spiritual locus of control.
KeywordsPerceived efficacy Prayer Conventional medicine Health concerns
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