Why is this happening to me? Illness beliefs held by haredi Jewish breast cancer patients: an exploratory study
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Health, Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews, Jewish Women, Religious Belief, Interviews
Abstract: Cultural factors influence how cancer patients interpret their illness. This paper explores the meanings haredi (strictly orthodox) Jewish breast cancer patients give to their illness. In‐depth interviews were conducted with five haredi breast cancer patients. The full transcripts were subjected to interpretive phenomenological analysis. Participants' interpretations of their cancer were strongly influenced by their religious beliefs. Two interwoven themes emerged: the cancer came from God as part of a meaningful plan; the disease was a test. The implications these beliefs may have for healthcare behaviour in this group are discussed.