Role of Islamic religious and cultural beliefs regarding intellectual impairment and service use: A South Asian parental perspective

Authors

  • Kulwinder Kaur-Bola University of Bedfordshire
  • Gurch Randhawa University of Bedfordshire

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v9i3.241

Keywords:

Bangladeshi, Islamic beliefs, intellectual impairment, Pakistani, poor communication, service use

Abstract

Empirical research has shown that some South Asian families from Muslim backgrounds may use fewer additional support services for their severely impaired children compared to other non-Muslim families. Often this has been attributed to socioeconomic factors and stereotypical views such as ‘the family’s faith prohibits the use of specific services’. This paper focuses on clarifying what Islam purports to say about impairment and considers how cultural influences may inadvertently influence some South Asian parents’ decisions to use services for their severely impaired children. This work aims to improve professional-parent/patient communication by enhancing better understanding of Islam on impairment, and supporting non-Muslim professionals to appreciate the differences between Islamic religion and general South Asian cultural beliefs regarding disability. Fourteen parents from ten Pakistani and Bangladeshi families took part in semi-structured open-ended interviews. Grounded theory was used to analyse the data. The emerging theory suggested most first generation Muslim families from rural villages were unable to distinguish between Islamic religious and cultural beliefs on impairment, and risked missing out on essential services due to poor professional-parent/patient communication.

Author Biographies

Kulwinder Kaur-Bola, University of Bedfordshire

Kulwinder is a visiting Consultant at the University of Bedfordshire; at the time of this study she was based at the university as a Research Fellow. Her research interests cover health communication with regards to ensuring equalities in service provision. She has worked with Professor Randhawa on studies relating to children with complex impairment and organ donation among UK’s BME communities.

Gurch Randhawa, University of Bedfordshire

Gurch Randhawa is Professor of Diversity in Public Health and Director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire. His research is focused on the development of patient-centred care pathways in multi-ethnic and multi-faith settings. He has received grants from organisations such as the DH, NIHR , Kidney Research UK, Big Lottery Fund, NH S BT and the King's Fund.

Published

2013-09-17

How to Cite

Kaur-Bola, K., & Randhawa, G. (2013). Role of Islamic religious and cultural beliefs regarding intellectual impairment and service use: A South Asian parental perspective. Communication and Medicine, 9(3), 241-251. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v9i3.241

Issue

Section

Articles