Muslims in Australian hospitals: the clash of cultures

Int J Nurs Pract. 2007 Oct;13(5):310-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2007.00643.x.


The objective of this paper is to review the multicultural nature of Australian society, with a specific focus on the Islamic culture. Islamic principles will be presented and the impact this has on the health-care provision of Muslim people will be explored. This paper highlights issues that Muslim patients face when hospitalized in Australia. Australia has seen a major shift in its society, from English-speaking European to one that boasts enormous cultural diversity. However, this cultural diversity poses a number of challenges for a Western-based health-care service based on differing needs and expectations. This challenge is perhaps most evident during times of illness, when the Muslim patient must attempt to adhere to the principles of their faith in the non-Islamic environment of the Australian hospital. The differences discussed in this paper serve to highlight the importance of having strategies that identify the needs and expectations of culturally diverse consumers of the hospital system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude of Health Personnel / ethnology*
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Australia
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Cultural Competency / education
  • Cultural Competency / psychology
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Dissent and Disputes
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Islam / psychology*
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Transcultural Nursing / organization & administration
  • Western World