GUWAHATI, Oct 27 - The nursing staff of the city-based Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) have started regular prayer services for all indoor patients of all faiths as part of its holistic approach to treatment of cancer.
According to Dr Amal Chandra Kataki, Director of BBCI, a positive outcome has been identified regarding the spirituality in health.
“There is increasing interest regarding prayer in healthcare. In a holistic paradigm and patient-centered care, all dimensions of a patient should be considered and all needs should be addressed, and is often included in professional ethical codes and main health policies. Prayer is an activity related to spirituality and religion,” he said.
Dr Kataki said that World Health Organisation’s definition of health comprises physical, psychological, and spiritual factors and is often based on harmony of several factors, such as values, culture, age, social background and the philosophical and religious beliefs of a person.
“Spirituality is a dimension related to finding meaning in life and answer to fundamental aspects of life through sacred and transcendent experiences, which are able to provide health benefits. There is scientific literature which suggests practice of spirituality is associated with improved physical and mental health outcome, having a beneficial effect on immune function, higher levels of satisfaction with life, hope and optimism,” he said.
According to Dr Kataki, the scientific community recognises prayer as a complementary therapy and a therapeutic intervention within holistic assistance and prayer may be included in healthcare in several contexts.
“This is because it helps solve crises and personal issues of the elderly, reduces the anxiety of patients undergoing chemotherapy, and improves the spiritual well-being of cancer patients. It is hoped that such measures introduced by BBCI will have a positive impact on cancer patients and will contribute to better survival and quality of life of patients,” informed Dr Kataki.