Ann Trop Paediatr. 1987 Mar; 7(1): 22-6.
Muslim parents' perception of and attitude towards cancer.
This paper examines the perception of and attitudes to cancer of 55 Muslim Arab parents and 5 close relatives of children with malignant disease. These subjects were interviewed in the Arabic language and more than 90% of them were Saudi. The results showed that despite the fact that 87% were either illiterate or did not attend secondary schools, 60% gave a reasonable description of cancer and 60% considered it important to know more about the symptoms of the child's malignant disease. The results also showed that the majority of the subjects considered that the prognosis lay in the hands of Allah (God) and that the fate of the child was beyond the control of the treating physician. Based upon these results and personal experience, recommendations have been put forward for oncologists who would deal with Muslim parents of the children with malignant disease.