Update on the Pain and Prayer Project – a ministry of hope and healing

Episcopal Church in Delaware
Posted Oct 31, 2022

Dr. Samantha Meints and the Rev. Dr. Marta Illueca at the International Association for the Study of Pain – World Congress of Pain, Toronto, Canada, Sept. 20, 2022

In 2022, with funding from the 2020 United Thank Offering grant, researchers from the Episcopal Church in Delaware and various academic medical centers reported findings from a groundbreaking study that tested a new psychometric instrument, the Pain-related PRAYER Scale (PPRAYERS) suitable for use in clinical research with a special focus on chronic pain patients.

Developed by the Rev. Dr. Marta Illueca, Clergy Medical Liaison from the Diocese of Delaware, and Dr. Samantha Meints, Clinical Psychologist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, the scale has undergone preliminary scientific validation which is the basis for a pastoral application called the “Bedside Prayer Tool.”

This ministry is part of an innovative “Church and Academia Model,” which is spearheading academic research at the intersection of religion and medicine. Other outputs of this multidisciplinary initiative include the recent publication of Rev. Illueca’s paper “Spiritual Pain: A Symptom in Search of a Clinical Definition” in the Journal of Religion and Health, in collaboration with faculty from the Tufts University School of Medicine. The aforementioned outputs will help to facilitate a working dialogue between pastoral and healthcare practitioners.

With a vision to build a bridge between spirituality and health, future phases of the Pain and Prayer Project include the development of educational materials for use in the community, and the translation/validation of the PPRAYERS instrument into Spanish, with further interinstitutional collaboration to be carried out in Latin America. In addition, Rev. Illueca has been formally invited as a stakeholder to the NIH-based INTEGRATE-Pain Consortium Delphi initiative, established “to foster cooperation and consensus in the field of pain research,” which includes the “harmonization of data standards.” For a link to the Spiritual Pain article please go to https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10943-022-01645-y.pdf For more information see www.painandprayer.com and to explore potential collaborations send an email to prayerpain@gmail.com