NEW YORK (AP) -- A cardiologist at an Oklahoma City hospital is a co-author of a study that has examined whether or not praying for a sick person's recovery do any good.

Doctor Charles Bethea, who works at Integris Baptist Medical Center, says that intercessory prayer in what is touted as the largest scientific test of its kind had a neutral effect.

Heart surgery patients in the study showed no benefit when strangers prayed for their recovery. And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

Researchers emphasize that their study could not address whether God exists or answers prayers made on another's behalf. They say the study could look only for effects from the specific prayers offered as part of the research.