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Efficacy of a written prayer technique on the anxiety of mothers of children with cancer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 November 2018

Maryam Ahmadi
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Khdije Zaree
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Anoushirvan Kazemnejad Leily
Biostatistics Department, Medical Sciences Faculty, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Akram Sadat Sadat Hoseini*
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Author for correspondence: Akram Sadat Sadat Hoseini, Pediatric Department, Room 423, Floor 3, Building 2, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mirhkani Street, Tohid Squire, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 1419733171 Tehran, Iran. E-mail:



To investigate the effect of a written prayer technique on the anxiety of mothers of children with cancer.


This clinical trial recruited 90 mothers of children with cancer admitted to the Medical Centre of Tehran. Using a convenience sampling method, we randomly assigned the participants to two groups: control (n = 45) and intervention (n = 45). Data were collected through the Spielberger's anxiety scale and a demographic questionnaire. Maternal anxiety was measured before the intervention, immediately after the three-day intervention, and five weeks after the intervention. We used a writing technique in the intervention and control groups for 20 minutes over three consecutive days. In the intervention group, participants wrote down their sincere desires and wishes that they demanded from God without any worry or stress. The control group spent 20 minutes writing their normal daily schedules; for example, feeding their children or changing their children's clothes. During the three consecutive days of intervention, we asked both groups not to worry about grammar or spelling errors. Finally, the data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistical methods.


A statistically significant difference was observed between the two groups (intervention and control mean, 34.9 ± 9.9 and 47.9 ± 16.2, respectively) relative to anxiety after the intervention (p < 0.001). After five weeks, the intervention group continued to exhibit significantly reduced anxiety compared with the control group (intervention and control mean, 34.7 ± 9.6 and 48.5 ± 16.4; p < 0.001).

Significance of results

The written prayer technique appears to be an effective, efficient, cost-effective, and practical method for reducing anxiety in mothers of children with cancer.

Original Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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