Faith’s power to heal

A lot can be said for a positive attitude in life and apparently strong religious faith can work wonders in the hospital, according to a study in the October issue of Liver Transplantation.

Researchers from the University of Pisa in Italy studied 179 patients who were candidates to get new livers and subsequently underwent transplants between 2004 and 2007. The patients all filled out questionnaires during their pre-transplant psychological evaluations that enabled the researchers to categorize the patients into three perspectives about God: searching for God (active), waiting for God (passive), and fatalism.

Eighteen of the patients died in the 21 months of follow up after their transplants. After adjusting for other factors such as age, sex and medical factors such as the amount of bleeding during the operation the patients who were actively searching for god were nearly three times as likely to remain alive.

The researchers concluded, “religiosity is associated with prolonged survival in patients undergoing liver transplantation.”

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