Muslim Husbands’ Roles in Women’s Health and Cancer: The Perspectives of Muslim Women in Indonesia

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Maternity Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia.

2 Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.

Abstract

Background: Breast and cervical cancers are the most common cause of cancer death among women in the world.
These cancers are detectable early, however only a few women participate in cancer screening especially in developing
countries, including Indonesia. Family, culture and religion can influence why women have screening. Husbands, in
Muslim families have a significant role in the family’s health including their wife’s reproductive health. However,
information about Muslim husbands’ roles in wife’s health especially cancer is limited. Objective: The purpose of
this study was to determine Muslim husband’s roles in women’s health and cancer from the perspectives of Muslim
women. Methods: This study was a qualitative study using a descriptive exploratory approach. Purposive sampling
was used to recruit 20 Muslim women, 10 from urban areas and 10 from rural areas of West Java Province, Indonesia.
Women were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Data from the interviews were analyzed using
the Comparative Analysis for Interview technique. Results: The study found two main themes emerged from the analysis:
Muslim husbands’ extensive roles in promoting women’s health and Husbands’ have limited actions with regard to
cancer screening. This study also found similarities between rural and urban women’s opinions that in general husbands
actively supported promoting women’s health. Conclusion: Muslim husbands focused on encouraging women to
have healthy lifestyles, however, a lack of support from husbands related to cancer screening. This behaviour could
be a hindrance to Muslim women’s participation in prevention and the early detection of cancer. There is a need to
improve Muslim husbands’ awareness in women’s cancer.

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