What is it about?

In this study, we have interviewed a sample of Hajj pilgrims with a validated tool for estimating psychiatric disorders. We found about 7.3% of Hajj pilgrims with at least one psychiatric disorder. The most common psychiatric disorders were depressive disorders, agoraphobia, and psychotic disorders. Interestingly, 6.2% of pilgrims found to pose a suicide risk, though most of them were at low risk.

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Why is it important?

Hajj is considered one of the five pillars of Islam. For performing Hajj properly, pilgrims have to be in good health, both physically and mentally. Moreover, one study found that one of the most common reasons for not-completing Hajj was due to a mental health issue. Hence, estimating how common are mental conditions in Hajj can provide insight on how serious this matter, and for future studies to explore the best for maintaining the mental health of Hajj pilgrims.


Conducting this study took a lot of work, collaboration, and time. First of all, I give my sincere appreciation to my colleague investigators, data collectors, and Tawafa establishments for their great effort. More than 60 data collectors participated in interviewing the pilgrims. Even with the logistic difficulties encountered and the limited days for interviewing pilgrims (20 days), we were able to interview more than 500 Hajj pilgrims with different languages. This cannot be done without the enthusiasm, patience, and willingness to complete this important topic for Hajj pilgrims. Thank you!

Dr Ahmad Saad Alzahrani
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Hajj pilgrims using MINI as a diagnostic tool, Journal of Public Health, July 2019, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s10389-019-01110-3.
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