Health Beliefs on Chronic Disease Management and Changes in Daily Routine among Thai Pilgrims during the Haj: A Qualitative Study LC10-LC14
Mr. Wit Wichaidit,
15 Karnjanavanich Rd., Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.
Introduction: Serious illnesses and fatalities occur among Haj pilgrims each year, and chronic diseases appear to be the most common causes. However, there appears to be a lack of in-depth information on lifestyle adaptation and behavioural determinants of Haj pilgrims regarding management of chronic diseases during the pilgrimage.
Aim: To describe health beliefs regarding management of chronic conditions and adaptation in daily routines among Thai Haj pilgrims who had chronic diseases.
Materials and Methods: In this qualitative study, 19 pilgrims and one guide (in Mecca and Medina) were selected by purposive sampling and invited to participate in in-depth interviews after they finished the Haj rituals. Patients 18 years or above being able to communicate in either Thai or Malay languages and history of diagnosis with at least one non-communicable disease were included. Interview recordings were transcribed by a trained transcription writer. The transcriptions were analysed using content analysis.
Results: Study participants deemed that they were susceptible to chronic diseases, and symptoms could become severe. However, participants regarded maintenance of good health as a way to follow religious principles, and the Haj was to be performed without assistance from others, when feasible. Participants also reported adapting daily routines according to medical and physical limitations, and strict adherence to prescribed medications.
Conclusion: The findings offered insights on health beliefs among Haj pilgrims as reported during the pilgrimage. However, the investigators adapted the interview questions according to the flow of the conversation, which did not allow for standardisation of the questions and responses.