Source of Publication
BMC Public Health
Background: Determining the potential barriers responsible for delaying access to care, and elucidating pathways to early intervention should be a priority, especially in Arab countries where mental health resources are limited. To the best of our knowledge, no previous studies have examined the relationship between religiosity, stigma and help-seeking in an Arab Muslim cultural background. Hence, we propose in the present study to test the moderating role of stigma toward mental illness in the relationship between religiosity and help-seeking attitudes among Muslim community people living in different Arab countries. Method: The current survey is part of a large-scale multinational collaborative project (StIgma of Mental Problems in Arab CounTries [The IMPACT Project]). We carried-out a web-based cross-sectional, and multi-country study between June and November 2021. The final sample comprised 9782 Arab Muslim participants (mean age 29.67 ± 10.80 years, 77.1% females). Results: Bivariate analyses showed that less stigmatizing attitudes toward mental illness and higher religiosity levels were significantly associated with more favorable help-seeking attitudes. Moderation analyses revealed that the interaction religiosity by mental illness stigma was significantly associated with help-seeking attitudes (Beta =.005; p <.001); at low and moderate levels of stigma, higher religiosity was significantly associated with more favorable help-seeking attitudes. Conclusion: Our findings preliminarily suggest that mental illness stigma is a modifiable individual factor that seems to strengthen the direct positive effect of religiosity on help-seeking attitudes. This provides potential insights on possible anti-stigma interventions that might help overcome reluctance to counseling in highly religious Arab Muslim communities.
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Medicine and Health Sciences
Arab countries, Help-seeking attitudes, Islam, Mental illness, Religiosity, Stigma
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Fekih-Romdhane, Feten; Daher-Nashif, Suhad; Stambouli, Manel; Alhuwailah, Amthal; Helmy, Mai; Shuwiekh, Hanaa Ahmed Mohamed; Mohamed Lemine, Cheikh Mohamed Fadel; Radwan, Eqbal; Saquib, Juliann; Saquib, Nazmus; Fawaz, Mirna; Zarrouq, Btissame; Naser, Abdallah Y.; Obeid, Sahar; Saleh, Maan; Haider, Sanad; Miloud, Lahmer; Badrasawi, Manal; Hamdan-Mansour, Ayman; Barbato, Mariapaola; Motwakil Bakhiet, Aisha; Khalil, Najat Sayem; Adawi, Samir; Grein, Fatheya; Loch, Alexandre Andrade; Cheour, Majda; and Hallit, Souheil, "Mental illness stigma as a moderator in the relationship between religiosity and help-seeking attitudes among Muslims from 16 Arab countries" (2023). All Works. 6093.
Indexed in Scopus
Open Access Type
Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series