Use of traditional health practices by Southeast Asian refugees in a primary care clinic

D. Buchwald, S. Panwala, Thomas Hooton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To determine the prevalence of use of traditional health practices among different ethnic groups of Southeast Asian refugees after their arrival in the United States, we conducted a convenience sample of 80 Cambodian, Lao, Mien, and ethnic Chinese patients (20 each) attending the University of Washington Refugee Clinic for a new or follow-up visit. Interpreters administered a questionnaire that dealt with demographics, medical complaints, traditional health practices, health beliefs, and attitudes toward Western practitioners. In all, 46 (58%) patients had used one or more traditional health practices, but the prevalence varied by ethnic group. Coining and massage were used by all groups except the Mien, whereas moxibustion and healing ceremonies were performed almost exclusively by the Mien. Traditional health practices were used for a variety of symptoms and, in 78% of reported uses, patients reported alleviation of symptoms. The use of traditional health practices is common among Southeast Asian refugees. Clinicians who care for this population should be aware of these practices because they may supersede treatments prescribed by physicians or leave cutaneous stigmata that may be confused with disease or physical abuse. Good patient care may necessitate the use or tolerance of both Western and traditional modalities in many Southeast Asian refugees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-511
Number of pages5
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Volume156
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Refugees
Primary Health Care
Health
Ethnic Groups
Laos
Moxibustion
Attitude to Health
Christianity
Massage
Patient Care
Demography
Physicians
Skin
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Use of traditional health practices by Southeast Asian refugees in a primary care clinic. / Buchwald, D.; Panwala, S.; Hooton, Thomas.

In: Western Journal of Medicine, Vol. 156, No. 5, 01.01.1992, p. 507-511.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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