Between life and death: How do Muslim terminal patients in Pakistan cope with hepatitis c utilizing their beliefs and social support?

Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Life-threatening events including terminal illness intensify the search for meaning and incite individuals to get closer to religion. Terminal patients can often find religious practices as helpful as medical therapy for bettering both physical and mental health. The present research aims to explain the interaction between religion, spirituality, and social support in coping with terminal illness among Muslim hepatitis C patients in Pakistan. A semi-structured open-ended interview guide was utilized to collect the data. Participants expressed that the deployment of religious and spiritual beliefs along with socio-emotional support during illness fostered medical therapy. Participants also revealed that belief in God provided them the strength to be steadfast during the terminal stage of the disease. Religious beliefs enabled terminal participants to accept death as an eventual reality and a normal part of their lives. Furthermore, participants put forward their longing for those kinds of religious practices that terminal diseases usually restrained them from receiving. The emotional support stemming from social relationships also improved resilience to cope with the terminal stage of illness. The study concludes that the interplay of religion, spirituality, and social support normalizes the fear of death, lessens pain, and improves resilience among Muslim hepatitis C patients in Pakistan.


Volume, issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Religion and Health