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“For Every Illness There is a Cure”: Attitudes and Beliefs of Moroccan Muslim Women Regarding Health, Illness and Medicine

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Abstract

In order to provide adequate health care, it is important to be well aware of the views and attitudes of the health seeker regarding health, illness and medicine. In the Belgian context, the views of Muslim women, particularly of middle-aged and elderly Moroccan women, have been understudied. The aim of this article is twofold. First, we seek to bring forward the attitudes and beliefs of middle-aged and elderly Moroccan Muslim women living in Antwerp (Belgium) towards health, illness and medicine. Second, we seek to explore which role religion plays in their views and attitudes regarding health, illness and medicine. Qualitative empirical research was conducted with a sample of middle-aged and elderly Moroccan Muslim women living in Antwerp (Belgium) (n = 30) and with experts in the field (n = 15). In-depth interviews and participant observations were conducted to reveal their perceptions regarding health, illness and medicine. This study reveals that religion plays a crucial role in how Muslim women perceive and deal with illness. Theological considerations that centre on God’s omnipotence, the belief in the afterlife and religious virtues take up a central position. A holistic approach is adopted in the search for healing, i.e. an interplay between calling upon medicine and turning to God. Religious beliefs seem to be a powerful source in coping with illness.

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Correspondence to Chaïma Ahaddour.

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Chaïma Ahaddour and Bert Broeckaert declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Ahaddour, C., Broeckaert, B. “For Every Illness There is a Cure”: Attitudes and Beliefs of Moroccan Muslim Women Regarding Health, Illness and Medicine. J Relig Health 57, 1285–1303 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-017-0466-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-017-0466-1

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