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Saudi Med J. 2007 Jun;28(6):933-42.

Spirituality, religiosity, and dealing with illness in Arabic and German patients.

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Department of Medical Theory and Complementary Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University Witten-Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, Herdecke 58313, Germany.



To investigate the impact of spirituality and religiosity (SpR) in Arabic patients with a Muslim background as compared to patients from Western Germany.


A total of 66 Arabic patients with hypertension were recruited between November 2005 and June 2006 consecutively at Al-Razi Hospital and Khalil Sulaiman Hospital in Jenin (Palestine) and completed the translated SpREUK questionnaire (SpREUK is an acronym of the German translation of spiritual and religious attitudes in dealing with illness). One hundred and eighty German patients were matched according to age, marital status, gender, and chronic diseases.


Arabic patients with a Muslim background had significantly higher scores for all 4 SpREUK scales than German patients, namely, Search for meaningful support, Trust in higher source, Positive interpretation of disease, and Support in relations of life through SpR.


For Muslims, the spiritual causes of disease are regarded much more as given by Allah, but this does neither impair faith as observed in German patients nor the positive interpretation of disease. It is of high importance to acknowledge these differences due to individuals with different SpR attitudes significantly differ in the way they find meaning in disease and hold in their spiritual source.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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