Title

Belief in charity giving (sadqa) and its role in healing: results of a survey conducted at a teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan

Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Objectives: To study patients’ belief and practice about Sadqa (charity) and its role in recovery from illness and restoration of health. This study will determine whether such belief and practice is related to any demographic factors such as sex, education, and religious sects.
Methods: A questionnaire was designed that included the demographic profile of patients and questions in accordance to the study objective. It was administered to 400 patients or their attendants against the calculated sample size of 385. There were very few refusals to participate with response rate of around 98%. The study objective was explained to all participants, written consent was obtained and full confidentiality was assured.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 34.33 years, majority of the patients were males with 65.6% having grade XII or higher education. The practice of giving sadqa/charity for healing was significantly associated with females (p<0.001); Ismaili sect (p=0.017); educational level of grade V (p=0.03); graduate (p=0.041); being housewives (p<0.001), students (p=0.048) and employees in private services (p<0.001). Approximately 85% of the study population gave sadqa/charity for healing diseases and 84.8% believed that sadqa/charity heals diseases. According to 97.5% of the participants, medical treatment should be combined along with sadqa/charity for healing.
Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of the patients’ attachment to charity giving and expectation that it will lead to recovery from illness. Future research in this area should be qualitative rather than quantitative to explore more about beliefs, attitude and behavior of the individuals. It is recommended that health care professionals should consider and also respect patients’ and relatives beliefs about sadqa and charity; clashing with their beliefs during provision of medial care should be avoided.

Publication

Oman Medical Journal