Background: Data from a pilot study suggested that noetic therapies-healing practices that are not mediated by tangible elements-can reduce preprocedural distress and might affect outcomes in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. We undertook a multicentre, prospective trial of two such practices: intercessory prayer and music, imagery, and touch (MIT) therapy.
Methods: 748 patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention or elective catheterisation in nine USA centres were assigned in a 2x2 factorial randomisation either off-site prayer by established congregations of various religions or no off-site prayer (double-blinded) and MIT therapy or none (unmasked). The primary endpoint was combined in-hospital major adverse cardiovascular events and 6-month readmission or death. Prespecified secondary endpoints were 6-month major adverse cardiovascular events, 6 month death or readmission, and 6-month mortality.
Findings: 371 patients were assigned prayer and 377 no prayer; 374 were assigned MIT therapy and 374 no MIT therapy. The factorial distribution was: standard care only, 192; prayer only, 182; MIT therapy only, 185; and both prayer and MIT therapy, 189. No significant difference was found for the primary composite endpoint in any treatment comparison. Mortality at 6 months was lower with MIT therapy than with no MIT therapy (hazard ratio 0.35 (95% CI 0.15-0.82, p=0.016).
Interpretation: Neither masked prayer nor MIT therapy significantly improved clinical outcome after elective catheterisation or percutaneous coronary intervention.