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Doctors to watch cultural sensitivities when treating Arab patients

Patient-doctor relationship in focus at the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress.

August 26, 2010 2:55 by



Abu Dhabi, UAE – 25 August, 2010: A review of studies published over the past four decades has confirmed that good doctor-patient communication makes a difference not only in patient satisfaction but in improving patient outcomes including emotional, physical and other important health indicators.

Current models of communication skill theory available for primary care physicians have been developed predominantly in western, English speaking settings, however, doctors working in the UAE and surrounding region need to look at how these models should be adapted for the Gulf Arab context.

According to Dr Deen Mirza of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the UAE University, the primary care physician can adapt to such issues by helping patients to express their problems in sensitive areas and accommodating to the cultural context of the patient.

Dr Mirza will be speaking at the Primary Healthcare Conference which will take place as part of the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress (ADMC), from 17 to 19 of October, 2010, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Organised by IIR Middle East, the conference will focus on the challenges being faced by the primary healthcare sector in the region and will promote policies of education and early detection in order to combat the chilling predictions for the health of the region’s growing population.

The Abu Dhabi Medical Congress is sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education and the conference activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.

“Western models of communication skills need to be adapted for the local context by accommodating the linguistic, cultural and religious differences of patients,” says Dr Mirza. “Arab social themes such as the centrality of the family unit and maintaining one’s honour in society can affect how patients present in primary care. For example male patients will be ashamed to admit weakness or female patients may feel guilty if they are infertile. There are also a lot of cultural health beliefs which can affect compliance with medication, e.g. attributing symptoms to jinn possession and the evil eye. Awareness of these issues enables one to adapt the consultation style appropriately and my presentation at ADMC will explore this conceptual domain with a view to providing practical advice for the primary care physician.”

At ADMC, more than 200 internationally renowned healthcare experts will take to the stage to discuss medical advances, service innovations and efficiency within Primary Healthcare, Patient Safety, Emergency, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine sectors.

Running along side the Congress is a 5,000 sqm exhibition which will attract over 150 companies, looking to showcase their latest products and services and to broaden their business opportunities in these sectors.

The American Hospital Dubai, a 144-bed, acute care, general medical/surgical private hospital with a 60 physician multi-specialty group practice and a primary healthcare service line, will be exhibiting at ADMC.

For the American Hospital, pparticipation at ADMC will create a forum for American Hospital physicians and Abu Dhabi physicians for future mutual co-operation and exchange of experience. The American Hospital Dubai has expanded to meet the demand for more personalised services, comfort and convenience, while broadening the services and deepening the level of primary healthcare offered.

Trade visitors have unlimited access to the exhibition, and may register their participation at any time during the event.

For more information about the Primary Healthcare Conference at ADMC, please call +971 4 407 2743 or visit www.abudhabimed.com.



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