Introduction: Spiritual interventions (SI) are used by patients and their families as a means to promote health. The family continuum (FC), which includes finding a partner/spouse, getting married, becoming pregnant, and having a safe pregnancy/birth, is an important concept for the Jewish culture as well as other cultures that have a traditional family-centered approach. There is a dearth of professional literature pertaining to SI to promote the FC. Although patients may use SI, this information is not routinely collected in a health history. The purpose of the study was to describe the experience of Jewish women's use of SI to promote the FC. Methods: This ethnographic study included interviews of Jewish women pertaining to FC, a text review, and field study. Coding of the text, site visits, and interviews were performed and reviewed to identify categories and themes and were refined until saturation was achieved. Results: Fifty-Three observant and non-observant Jewish women participated in the study. Women expressed that SI were the means for them playing an active role in fulfilling the FC, and included intermediaries to God, self-improvement, and folk/spiritual remedies. The examples of SI included: visits to holy sites and spiritual leaders for blessings and advice, prayers, psalms, doing good deeds, eating special foods, wearing amulets, and performing certain SI with predesignated repetitions. Women attributed these SI to attaining an FC. Women who achieved each FC milestone without difficulty tended to use less SI, whereas women's SI usage increased the longer a milestone was not achieved. Conclusions: Jewish women are using many SI to promote the FC. Health care should be delivered in a culturally competent manner, which includes the incorporation of safe cultural practices. Obtaining a cultural assessment as part of the medical history could assist the health care professional in integrating safe SI into patient care.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Complementary and alternative medicine