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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Punita Chowbey, Sarah Salway and Mubarak Ismail

Evidence, though limited, suggests that UK minority ethnic individuals have lower referral rates for eating disorders than their White British counterparts. Missed or delayed…

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Abstract

Purpose

Evidence, though limited, suggests that UK minority ethnic individuals have lower referral rates for eating disorders than their White British counterparts. Missed or delayed diagnosis may be an important contributory factor. This paper seeks to identify key areas that require attention for early detection and treatment of eating disorders in minority ethnic people.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken was a community‐based qualitative study in Sheffield, England: interviews with relatives of people with eating disorders (n=3); key informant interviews (n=15); group discussions with community members aged 18‐24 (n=4, 24 participants).

Findings

Several factors appear to influence the recognition of, and response to, eating disorders among minority ethnic people with potential implications for timely diagnosis and treatment. Low public awareness was an important barrier to seeking medical attention. Norms and ideals relating to food and body image, as well as some religious practices, can also discourage prompt recognition of illness, though there is much diversity within and between families and communities. Some service providers can be slow to consider the possibility of eating disorders among minority ethnic individuals, while others lack confidence to deal with the needs of minority ethnic people. Poor past experiences with services also undermine people's willingness to engage with services.

Originality/value

The paper provides insights into socio‐cultural influences on the experiences of people living with eating disorders that require greater attention by services. Healthcare practitioners need enhanced awareness that eating disorders do affect minority ethnic people and greater confidence to engage with these patients to gain the information needed for prompt diagnosis and effective treatment.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Hilary Piercy, Punita Chowbey, John Soady, Permjeet Dhoot, Lerleen Willis and Sarah Salway

The authors examined the cardiac care pathway with the aim of identifying factors that impact on diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease in British Pakistani women.

Abstract

Purpose

The authors examined the cardiac care pathway with the aim of identifying factors that impact on diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease in British Pakistani women.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an exploratory qualitative study. In depth interviews and focus groups with an opportunistic sample of Pakistani women and a purposive sample of clinicians working at different points along the care pathway were conducted. The authors used a pathways to care approach to illustrate how their individual and cumulative effect may contribute to differential receipt of treatment, including revascularisation, and health inequalities.

Findings

Four major issues were identified: complex life circumstances; “atypical” presentation and symptomatology; problems related to investigative testing; and poor communication. Mapping these barriers onto the Pathways to Care Model provided valuable insight into their impact on patients' progression through the different stages of the care pathway.

Research limitations/implications

Adopting a care pathway approach demonstrated how individual factors have an impact at several points along the care pathway. It indicated where further, more detailed enquiry is merited and where intervention studies might usefully be directed to improve care.

Practical implications

Examining the whole care pathway identified areas of service improvement that merit a co‐ordinated response.

Originality/value

The framework provided by the Pathways to Care Model offered insight into the causes of the previously observed attenuation in women's progress along the cardiac diagnosis and treatment pathway and is an important first step to addressing this health inequality in a holistic way.

Details

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

Keywords

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