Supernatural Explanations of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders Among Health Care Professionals at an Academic Tertiary Care Hospital in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi society is one of many where supernatural explanations for neurological and psychiatric disorders are prevalent among lay persons. The frequency of such beliefs among health care professionals in this country, however, is unknown. The frequency of supernatural explanations for neurological and psychiatric disorders was assessed in 126 health care professionals at an academic medical center in Jeddah. A high frequency of belief in supernatural factors as a cause for neurological and psychiatric illness, including the evil eye, divine testing and punishment, and sorcery, was found. Younger age and more junior level of training were associated with a higher likelihood of belief in supernatural causation. A surprisingly high prevalence of supernatural explanations was found among these health care professionals, 80% of whom were attending physicians or physicians in training. Future studies should focus on the potential impact of these beliefs on clinical practice.
Tayeb, H; Khayat, A; Milyani, H; Alsawwaf, Y; Alzaben, F; Koenig, HG
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