What Factors Make Muslim Women More Likely to Delay or Forgo Healthcare?

New Rochelle, NY, July 19, 2016—A new study of American Muslim women from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds found that the majority of women had delayed seeking medical care due to a perceived lack of female clinicians. Not seeking timely medical care can result in poor health outcomes. The desire to be treated by a female healthcare provider is just one of the religion-related factors that may influence the decisions of Muslim women and are examined in an article in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available open access on the Journal of Women’s Health website.


In the article “Predictors of Delayed Healthcare Seeking Among American Muslim Women,” Milkie Vu, Alia Azmat, Tala Radejko, and Aasim Padela, MD, The University of Chicago, IL, evaluated several religion-related factors and socio-demographic characteristics in a sample of more than 250 Muslim women who attend community and religious events. These included religiosity, fatalistic beliefs regarding healthcare, perceived religious discrimination in healthcare encounters, modesty, use of complementary alternative medicine and worship practices for health, and having lived in the U.S. for more or less than 20 years.


In the accompany Editorial entitled “Muslim Women’s Preferences in the Medical Setting: How Might They Contribute to Disparities in Health Outcomes?Erin Marcus, MD, MPH, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, FL, states: “The authors’ findings reinforce the importance of gender diversity in the health workforce as an important factor influencing health outcomes.”


“The finding that more than half of a diverse, community-based population of American Muslim women—a population comprised of nearly equal numbers of African Americans, Arab Americans, and South Asians—did not receive adequate healthcare shows the potential health disparities linked to religious beliefs,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women’s Health.


Click here to forward to a colleague.