"Study: Praying online helps cancer patients" 

EurekAlert reports this finding:
"Breast cancer patients who pray in online support groups can obtain mental health benefits, according to a new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center of Excellence in Cancer Communications Research that was funded by the National Cancer Institute." 

. . . . 
"Surveys were administered before group access, then again four months later. Text messages within the computer-mediated support groups were analyzed using a text analysis program, which measured the percentage of words that were suggestive of religious belief and practice (e.g., pray, worship, faith, holy, God). Writing a higher percentage of these religious words within the online support groups was associated with lower levels of negative emotions and higher levels of self-efficacy and functional well-being, even after controlling for patients' pre-test levels of religious beliefs." 
Note that the research was designed to distinguish religiously-associated variables from other social variables. This supports the view that religious practice has positive outcomes. 
Part of the ongoing accumulation of studies showing positive associations with religious belief. (See the link for context on how studies like this can be interpreted.) 

Posted: Wed - January 3, 2007 at 08:44 PM           |

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