• coronary artery disease;
  • Faith;
  • health promotion;
  • Islam;
  • phenomenology;
  • spirituality

Scand J Caring Sci; 2011; 25; 716–724 Spirituality, illness and personal responsibility: the experience of Jordanian Muslim men with coronary artery disease

Spiritual care is an aspect of nursing in many parts of the world; however, there is very little evidence of this in an Arab Muslim country. This qualitative study explores the meaning of spirituality as experienced by Jordanian Muslim men living with coronary artery disease. A hermeneutical phenomenological orientation was used to explore the experience of spirituality as lived by Arab Muslim men with coronary artery disease. A purposive sample of 19 men was selected from the Coronary care Unit (CCU) in a teaching hospital in Jordan. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using Colaizzi’s steps of phenomenological analysis. Four themes emerged from the data. The participants explained that faith facilitated their acceptance of illness and enhanced their coping strategies, that seeking medical treatment did not conflict with their belief in fate, that spirituality enhanced their inner strength, hope and acceptance of self-responsibility and it helped to them to find meaning and purpose in their life. In this study, Parse’s theory of human becoming served as the foundation for understanding the paradoxical rhythmical pattern of the human experience of spirituality in illness. The findings suggest that patients’ faith plays a central role in the choices they make either healthy or unhealthy, or accepting or rejecting their personal responsibility in promoting their future health and well-being. In addition, it provide nurses with the basis for providing spiritual care and developing a culturally sensitive healthcare plans in this population.