The effect of religion on the perception of health states among adults in the United Arab Emirates: A qualitative study

Iffat Elbarazi, Nancy J. Devlin, Marina Selini Katsaiti, Emmanuel A. Papadimitropoulos, Koonal K. Shah, Iain Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives Investigate how religion may affect the perception of health states among adults in the United Arab Emirates and the implications for research on self-reported health and quality of life and the use of values in cost-effectiveness analysis. Design Qualitative analysis of short-structured interviews with adult Emiratis carried out by a market research agency.The COREQ criteria have been used where appropriate to guide the reporting of our findings. Setting Participants were recruited from shopping malls and other public places in the cities of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. Participants Two hundred adult Emiratis broadly representative of the Emirati population in terms of age and gender. Results Eighty one per cent of participants said that their perception of health states was influenced by their spiritual or religious beliefs. The two overarching themes that seemed to explain or classify these influences were â €'fatalism' and â €' preservation of life'. Subthemes included powerlessness to change what is preordained by God, fear of disability (particularly diminished mobility) and appreciation of health and life and the requirement to look after one's health. A final theme was that of acceptance, with respondents expressing a willingness to endure suffering and disability with patience in the expectation of rewards in the hereafter. Conclusions Our results emphasise the need for further work to establish locally relevant value sets for Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and elsewhere for use in health technology assessment decision-making, rather than relying on value sets from other regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere016969
JournalBMJ Open
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017

Keywords

  • United Arab Emirates
  • cost-effectiveness analysis
  • islam
  • patient reported outcome measures
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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