Religious Values and Healthcare Accommodations: Voices from the American Muslim Community
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Minority populations receive a lower quality healthcare in part due to the inadequate assessment of, and cultural adaptations to meet, their culturally informed healthcare needs. The seven million American Muslims, while ethnically and racially diverse, share religiously informed healthcare values that influence their expectations of healthcare. There is limited empirical research on this community’s preferences for cultural modifications in healthcare delivery.
Identify healthcare accommodations requested by American Muslims.
Using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods, we partnered with four community organizations in the Greater Detroit area to design and conduct thirteen focus groups at area mosques serving African American, Arab American, and South Asian American Muslims. Qualitative content analysis utilized a framework team-based approach.
Participants reported stigmatization within the healthcare system and voiced the need for culturally competent healthcare providers. In addition, they identified three key healthcare accommodations to address Muslim sensitivities: the provision of (1) gender-concordant care, (2) halal food and (3) a neutral prayer space. Gender concordance was requested based on Islamic conceptions of modesty and privacy. Halal food was deemed to be health-promoting and therefore integral to the healing process. Lastly, a neutral prayer space was requested to ensure security and privacy during worship.
This study informs efforts to deliver high-quality healthcare to American Muslims in several ways. We note three specific healthcare accommodations requested by this community and the religious values underlying these requests. Healthcare systems can further cultural sensitivity, engender trust, and improve the healthcare experiences of American Muslims by understanding and then attempting to accommodate these values as much as possible.
- Smedley BD, Stith AY, Nelson AR. Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2003.
- Anonymous. Poor communications, cultural barriers impacting quality of health care for minorities. Qual Lett Healthc Lead. 2002;14(4):11–13.
- Cross TL, Bazron BJ, Dennis KW, Isaacs MR. Toward a culturally competent system of care. Georgetown University Child Development Center. 1989.
- United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. What Is Cultural Competency? Available at: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=11. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Anderson LM, Scrimshaw SC, Fullilove MT, Fielding JE, Normand J. Culturally competent healthcare systems: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med. 2003;24(3 Suppl 1):68–79. CrossRef
- Brach C, Fraser I. Can cultural competency reduce racial and ethnic health disparities? A review and conceptual model. Med Care Res Rev. 2000;57(Suppl 1):181–217.
- Miller T. Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population. Pew Research Center; 2010.
- Ba-Yunus I. Muslims of Illinois, a demographic report. Chicago: East-West University; 1997.
- Obama B. Remarks by the President on a New Beginning. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-cairo-university-6-04-09. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Allied Media Corp. Muslims American Demographic Facts. Available at: http://www.allied-media.com/AM/. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Hassoun RJ. Arab Americans in Michigan. Lansing: Michigan State University Press; 2005.
- Numan FH. The Muslim Population in the United States. American Muslim Council; 1992; Available at: http://www.uga.edu/islam/muslimpop_usa.html. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Arab American Institute Foundation. Michigan; 20011. Available at: http://www.aaiusa.org/index_ee.php/pages/state-profiles. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Kleinman A, Eisenberg L, Good B. Culture, illness, and care: clinical lessons from anthropologic and cross-cultural research. Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(2):251–8.
- Wehbe-Alamah H. Bridging generic and professional care practices for Muslim patients through use of Leininger's culture care modes. Contemp Nurse. 2008;28(1–2):83–97. CrossRef
- Smedley BD, Smith AY, Nelson AR, eds. Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2002.
- Israel BA. Methods in Community-Based Participatory Research for Health. 1st ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2005.
- Beine K, Fullerton J, Palinkas L, Anders B. Conceptions of prenatal care among Somali women in San Diego. J Nurse Midwifery. 1995;40(4):376–81. CrossRef
- Simpson J, Carter K. Muslim women's experiences with health care providers in a rural area of the United States. J Transcult Nurs. 2008;19(1):16–23. CrossRef
- Morioka-Douglas N, Sacks T, Yeo G. Issues in caring for Afghan American elders: insights from literature and a focus group. J Cross Cult Gerontol. 2004;19(1):27–40. CrossRef
- Reitmanova S, Gustafson D. "They can't understand it": maternity health and care needs of immigrant Muslim women in St. John's, Newfoundland. Matern Child Health J. 2008;12(1):101–11. CrossRef
- Matin M, LeBaron S. Attitudes toward cervical cancer screening among Muslim women: a pilot study. Women Health. 2004;39(3):63–77. CrossRef
- Luna L. Care and cultural context of Lebanese Muslim immigrants: using Leininger's theory. J Transcult Nurs. 1994;5(2):12–20. CrossRef
- DeShaw P. Use of the emergency department by Somali immigrants and refugees. Minn Med. 2006;89(8):42–5.
- Zezima K. The Muslim patient will see you now, Doctor. New York Times. 2004 Sept 1;Sect. Health. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/01/national/01muslim.html. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Modesty gowns for female patients. British Broadcasting Company. 2006 September 5;Sect. News. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/lancashire/5315306.stm. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Cainkar L. The Impact of 9/11 on Muslims and Arabs in the United States. In: Tirman J, ed. The maze of fear: security and migration after September 11. New York: The New Press; 2004.
- Davidson J, Boyer ML, Casey D, Matzel SC, Walden D. Gap analysis of cultural and religious needs of hospitalized patients. Crit Care Nurs Q. 2008;31(2):119–26.
- Amer MM, Hood RW. Special issue: part II. Islamic religiosity: measures and mental health. J Muslim Ment Health. 2008;3(1):1–5. CrossRef
- Religious Values and Healthcare Accommodations: Voices from the American Muslim Community
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 27, Issue 6 , pp 708-715
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- cultural modifications
- minority health
- healthcare delivery
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Sections of General Internal Medicine & Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Ave, MC 5068, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA
- 2. Program on Medicine and Religion, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
- 3. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
- 4. Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA