Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Beyond Science

Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 22 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1450

Rapid Response:

a test for the "scientific" community

Not long ago a colleague gave me the Leibovici-paper without any comments. I read it once, and than again. I was sure, that it is a joke, and I definitely do not believe in retroactive praying. Of course, after reading several times, the caveats appeared, as they do in any paper. I thought that maybe Leibovici put the readers to a test: take a published pharmacological case-control study of a high impact journal, and reframe it into a faked study, using same methodology and stats, but only change the treatment into something esoterically. Look at the responses of the scientific community. The reframed study will be criticised because of bad stats, interpretation, description of methodology, etc. Question: Would the scientific community would be as critical to mainstream pharmacological studies as it would be for the faked study? I do not think that Leibovici paper has a worse methodology compared to most published studies.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 August 2005
Martin Ploederl
Research Assistant
Hellbrunnerstr. 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria