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Prayed for own health, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults in 2002 and 2007 who had ever prayed specifically for the purpose of their own health (PRASELFEV), PRASELFYR indicates whether they had prayed for their own health in the past 12 months.

Spiritual healing--including prayer for one's own health, requesting others to pray for one's own health, prayer groups, and healing rituals/sacraments--was one of many alternative health treatment modalities included in the 2002 and 2007 Alternative Health Supplements. For the full list of alternative health treatments covered in the NHIS, and for general background information about the Alternative Health supplements, see ACUYR.

In 2002 only, if sample adults gave a positive response to PRASELFYR (or to the comparable variables PRAOTHYR, PRAGROUPYR, or PRARITYR, which cover use of other spiritual healing techniques in the past 12 months), they were asked a series of follow-up questions (see PRARITYR). Only sample adults who had used a "healing ritual or sacrament" in the past 12 months (i.e., a "Yes" response in PRARITYR) were asked whether the ritual was used to treat a specific medical condition and, if so, what that condition was (see PRATREAT).

In 2007, no information was collected on spiritual healing beyond whether sample adults had ever prayed for their own health (PRASELFEV), had ever asked others to do so (PRAOTHEV), or had done either in the past year (PRASELFYR and PRAOTHYR).


PRASELFYR is fully comparable for 2002 and 2007.


  • 2002; 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever prayed specifically for the purpose of their own health.


  • 2002, 2007