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J Relig Health. 2011 Jun;50(2):422-36. doi: 10.1007/s10943-010-9448-2.

Health care behaviours and beliefs in Hasidic Jewish populations: a systematic review of the literature.

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Centre for Behavioural and Social Sciences in Medicine, University College London, 95 Abbots Gardens, East Finchley, London N2 0JJ, UK.


Cultural issues impact on health care, including individuals' health care behaviours and beliefs. Hasidic Jews, with their strict religious observance, emphasis on kabbalah, cultural insularity and spiritual leader, their Rebbe, comprise a distinct cultural group. The reviewed studies reveal that Hasidic Jews may seek spiritual healing and incorporate religion in their explanatory models of illness; illness attracts stigma; psychiatric patients' symptomatology may have religious content; social and cultural factors may challenge health care delivery. The extant research has implications for clinical practice. However, many studies exhibited methodological shortcomings with authors providing incomplete analyses of the extent to which findings are authentically Hasidic. High-quality research is required to better inform the provision of culturally competent care to Hasidic patients.

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