Type 2 diabetes patient’s perspective on ramadan fasting: A qualitative study

Jun Yang Lee, Chee Piau Wong, Christina San San Tan, Nazrila Hairizan Nasir, Shaun Wen Huey Lee

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Objective We evaluated the beliefs, experience and diabetes management strategies of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) Muslim patients that chose to fast during Ramadan. Research design and methods A semistructured focus group interview was conducted with 53 participants with T2DM. Participants were purposefully sampled and asked to share their perspective on Ramadan fasting. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Results Participants reported optimism towards fasting during Ramadan, as they believed that fasting was beneficial to their overall well-being, and a time for family bonding. Most participants made limited attempts to discuss with their doctors on the decision to fast and self-adjusted their medication based on experience and symptoms during this period. They also reported difficulty in managing their diet, due to fear of hypoglycemia and the collective social aspect of fasting. Conclusion Muslims are optimistic about their well-being when fasting during Ramadan. Many choose to fulfill their religious obligation despite being discouraged by their doctors. Collaboration with religious authorities should be explored to ensure patients receive adequate education before fasting during Ramadan.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000365
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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