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"According to a national survey of over 2,000 Americans, more than one-third pray for good health. About 75 percent of respondents say they pray to prevent illness. Another 22 percent say they pray to alleviate a medical condition. People with certain health problems, such as back pain, depression, and chronic headaches, were more likely to use prayer than others.

"Among those who said they prayed for help with specific medical conditions, 69 percent report that prayer was very helpful.... Only about 1 out of 10 people who pray for health reasons mentions it to care providers. Researchers recommend that care providers ask patients in a nonbiased, nonjudgmental way about their spirituality for a more holistic approach to healing."

August 30, 2004

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