Cultural competencies in emergency medicine: caring for Muslim-American patients from the Middle East

Ugo A Ezenkwele, Gholamreza S Roodsari
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2013, 45 (2): 168-74

BACKGROUND: Cultural competency is crucial to the delivery of optimal medical care. In Emergency Medicine, overcoming cultural barriers is even more important because patients might use the Emergency Department (ED) as their first choice for health care. At least 2.2 million Muslims from Middle Eastern background live in the United States.

OBJECTIVE: We wanted to create a succinct guideline for Emergency care providers to overcome cultural barriers in delivering care for this unique population.

METHOD: A compensative search on medical and health databases was performed and all the articles related to providing healthcare for Muslim-Americans were reviewed.

RESULT: The important cultural factors that impact Emergency care delivery to this population include norms of modesty; gender role; the concept of God's will and its role in health, family structure, prohibition of premarital and extramarital sex; Islamic rituals of praying and fasting; Islamic dietary codes; and rules related to religious cleanliness.

CONCLUSIONS: The Muslim-American community is a fast-growing, under-studied population. Cultural awareness is essential for optimal delivery of health care to this minority. We have created a succinct guideline that can be used by Emergency Care providers to overcome cultural barriers. However, it is important to consider the heterogeneity and diversity of this population and to use this guideline on an individual basis.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"