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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 81-87

Muslim patients in Ramadan: A review for primary care physicians


1 Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Care Coordination Program, Boston, MA, USA
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Heba Abolaban
157 Pleasant St., Maiden, MA 02148
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ajm.AJM_76_17

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Fasting Ramadan, in which Muslims abstain from specific habits and behaviors from dawn to sunset, is one of the five Pillars of Islam. While there are several exemptions from fasting, many Muslim patients with acute or chronic medical conditions still choose to fast, which may adversely affect their health if not addressed properly. Some patients may not be well educated about the effects of some medical treatments and procedures on the validity of their fast, which can unnecessarily lead to suboptimal management of their conditions or treatment nonadherence. Since spirituality, religiosity, and personal beliefs affect patients' health behaviors and adherence to treatments, health-care providers need to learn how fasting Ramadan can affect the health of their Muslim patients, especially those with chronic medical conditions, and how to help them achieve safe fasting. This article aims to provide an overview of the main topics that primary care physicians may need to know in order to improve their cultural competence when caring for their fasting Muslim patients.


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