Exploring Muslim Women's Reproductive Health Needs and Preferences in the Emergency Department

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

West J Emerg Med


Objective: We explored individual Muslim women's reproductive healthcare experiences, preferences, beliefs, and behaviors in the emergency department (ED) and in general. Methods: This was a qualitative study conducted at a community ED using semi-structured interviews with a piloted interview guide. We interviewed participants awaiting care in the ED with the following criteria: female gender; English or Arabic speaking; aged ≥18 years; and self-identified as Muslim. We conducted interviews in both English and Arabic until thematic saturation was reached. Transcripts were coded using an iteratively developed codebook, maintaining intercoder agreement greater than 80%. We used an inductive thematic analysis to identify themes, and results were interpreted in the context of interview language and patient's age.

Results: We interviewed 26 Muslim-identified female ED patients. We found that cultural representation and sensitivity among ED staff mitigated discrimination and promoted inclusion for Muslim ED patients. However, assumptions about Muslim identity also impacted the participants' healthcare. Most participants endorsed a preference for a female clinician for their reproductive healthcare in general, but not necessarily for other areas of medicine. Clinician cultural concordance was not always preferred for participants in the ED due to fears about the loss of confidentiality. Marital status impacted beliefs about reproductive and sexual health in the context of Muslim identity. Overall, family planning was acceptable and encouraged in this patient population. Conclusion: The themes elucidated in this study may guide clinicians in developing culturally sensitive practices when providing reproductive healthcare to the Muslim population.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Female; Adolescent; Adult; Islam; Reproductive Health; Emergency Service, Hospital; Fear; Health Facilities

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page