Towards a better understanding between non-Muslim primary care clinicians and Muslim patients: A literature review intended to reduce health care inequities in Muslim patients

Jeffrey K. King, Alexander Kieu, Marwan El-Deyarbi, Noof Aljneibi, Saif Al-Shamsi, Muhammad Jawad Hashim, Linda Östlundh, Kate Ellen King, Renee Houjintang King, Moien AB Khan, Romona Devi Govender

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although Muslims are a growing population within many non-Muslim countries, there are insufficient Muslim clinicians to care for them. Studies have shown that non-Muslim clinicians have limited knowledge and understanding of Islamic practices affecting health, which may lead to disparities in the quality of healthcare delivery and outcomes when caring for Muslim patients. Muslims come from many different cultures and ethnicities and have variations in their beliefs and practices. This literature review provides some insights which may strengthen therapeutic bonds between non-Muslim clinicians and their Muslim patients resulting in improved holistic, patient-centered care in the areas of cancer screening, mental health, nutrition, and pharmacotherapy. Additionally, this review informs clinicians about the Islamic perspective on childbirth, end of life issues, travel for Islamic pilgrimage, and fasting during the month of Ramadan. Literature was sourced by a comprehensive search in PubMed, Scopus, and CINAHL along with hand screening of citations. Title and abstract screening followed by full-text screening excluded studies including less than 30% Muslim participants, protocols, or reporting results deemed irrelevant to primary care. 115 papers were selected for inclusion in the literature review. These were grouped into the themes of general spirituality, which were discussed in the Introduction, and Islam and health, Social etiquette, Cancer screening, Diet, Medications and their alternatives, Ramadan, Hajj, Mental health, Organ donation and transplants, and End of life. Summarizing the findings of the review, we conclude that health inequities affecting Muslim patients can be addressed at least in part by improved cultural competency in non-Muslim clinicians, as well as further research into this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100092
JournalHealth Policy OPEN
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Discrimination
  • Islam
  • Muslim
  • Outcomes
  • Primary care
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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