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Measuring physicians’ religious competence in clinical health communication context: female Muslim immigrant patients’ expectations

Rukhsana Ahmed (Department of Communication, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA)
Yuping Mao (Department of Communication Studies, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Article publication date: 2 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This exploratory study aims to examine female Muslim immigrant patients’ expectations of physicians’ religious competence during clinical interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 101 female Muslim immigrants in Ottawa, Canada, completed an eight-item survey measuring patients’ expectations of physicians’ religious competence during clinical communication.

Findings

Results from the independent samples t-tests and one-way ANOVA suggested that female Muslim immigrant patients in this study expected their doctors to be aware of Islam as a religion and be sensitive to their religious needs, especially food/dietary practices during clinical communication. Although the participants did not differ in their expectations of physicians’ religious competence based on age, educational level, employment status and income level, they differed based on their frequencies of visiting doctors and their ethnic/cultural origin.

Originality/value

This study fills a gap in the literature by advancing understanding of religious competence during clinical interactions from female Muslim immigrant patients’ perspective. The findings can contribute to developing religiously competent and accessible health-care services for religiously diverse populations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Rukhsana Ahmed has been the recipient of Grants to Co-Investigators Research Program under the Religion and Diversity Project, a Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). She would like to thank the Religion and Diversity Project at the University of Ottawa, an MCRI of SSHRC, Canada. She would also like to thank the research assistants, and, most importantly, the survey participants for their time and sharing their experiences.

Citation

Ahmed, R. and Mao, Y. (2022), "Measuring physicians’ religious competence in clinical health communication context: female Muslim immigrant patients’ expectations", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-02-2022-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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