Predictors of Diabetes Fatalism Among Arabs: A Cross-Sectional Study of Lebanese Adults with Type 2 Diabetes


Fatalism is a grounded cultural belief that is common among Arabs and is known to hinder self-care in chronic diseases including diabetes (Nabolsi and Carson in Scand J Caring Sci 25(4):716–724, 2011). The purpose of this study is to identify predictors of diabetes fatalism in this population. Data on 280 Lebanese patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 58.24 ± 13.48 years; mean HbA1c 7.90 ± 1.90%; 53.76% females) recruited from one hospital in greater Beirut, Lebanon, and from the community using snowballing technique were examined. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the independent association between diabetes fatalism and demographic and patient characteristics. Age (β = −.14, 95% CI −.27, −.002), BMI (β = .35, 95% CI .15; .54), level of education (β = −3.98, 95% CI −7.64; −.32) and number of diabetes problems (β = −5.03, 95% CI −9.89; −.18) were significantly associated with diabetes fatalism in the regression model. The combination of demographic and patient characteristics accounted for 14.5% of the variance in diabetes fatalism scores’ change. Patients with type 2 diabetes who exhibited more fatalistic attitudes were younger, of lower education levels, had higher BMI and had fewer diabetes comorbidities. Such findings are crucial for healthcare practitioners to identify fatalistic patients and to tailor culturally appropriate strategies in diabetes management. Further studies are warranted to explore other potential determinants of diabetes fatalism with larger sample and non-Lebanese Arabic population.

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The authors Ola Sukkarieh-Haraty and Maya Bassil contributed equally to the work. The authors would like to thank the Lebanese American University Medical Center-Risk Hospital (LAUMC-RH) for enabling access to the patients. The authors would like to extend their appreciation to Nutrition students at the Lebanese American University for their valuable contribution.


This study was funded by the Lebanese American University.

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Correspondence to Maya Bassil.

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All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the LAU institutional review board and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Sukkarieh-Haraty, O., Egede, L.E., Abi Kharma, J. et al. Predictors of Diabetes Fatalism Among Arabs: A Cross-Sectional Study of Lebanese Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. J Relig Health 57, 858–868 (2018).

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  • Diabetes fatalism
  • Predictors
  • Arabs
  • Lebanon
  • Type 2 diabetes