Episodic Memory in Later Life: Benefits of Prayer and Meditation

TitleEpisodic Memory in Later Life: Benefits of Prayer and Meditation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLekhak, N, Bhatta, TR, Zauszniewski, JA
JournalJournal of Holistic Nursing
ISSN Number08980101
KeywordsAged, Article, drawing, Episodic Memory, Female, human, human experiment, major clinical study, Male, meditation, mindfulness, Religion, Retirement, secondary analysis

{Purpose: To examine the effects of prayer and meditation on the episodic memory of older adults. Design: Secondary analysis of Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Method: Drawing from a subsample of HRS (n = 1,135), this study utilized generalized estimating equation regression models to examine the effects of meditation and prayer on changes in episodic memory of older adults over time. Findings: Findings show a statistically significant positive effect of the use of prayer (0.50, p <.05) on episodic memory score at baseline. We also observed a slight gain in episodic memory over time for older adults who used prayer (0.04, p =.05). Meditation was not found to have a statistically significant effect on changes in memory in later life. Conclusion: This study illustrates the benefits of prayer in preserving memory and provides much needed empirical basis for community-level interventions to enhance memory in later life.


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Citation KeyLekhak2020