• Role of Islamic religious and cultural beliefs regarding intellectual impairment and service use: a South Asian parental perspective

      Bola, Kulwinder Kaur; Randhawa, Gurch (Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2013-06-01)
      Empirical research has shown that some South Asian families from Muslim backgrounds may use fewer additional support services for their severely impaired children compared to other non-Muslim families. Often this has been attributed to socioeconomic factors and stereotypical views such as "the family's faith prohibits the use of specific services". This paper focuses on clarifying what Islam purports to say about impairment and considers how cultural influences may inadvertently influence some South Asian parents' decisions to use services for their severely impaired children. This work aims to improve professional-parent/patient communication by enhancing better understanding of Islam on impairment, and supporting non-Muslim professionals to appreciate the differences between Islamic religion and general South Asian cultural beliefs regarding disability. Fourteen parents from ten Pakistani and Bangladeshi families took part in semi-structured open-ended interviews. Grounded theory was used to analyse the data. The emerging theory suggested most first generation Muslim families from rural villages were unable to distinguish between Islamic religious and cultural beliefs on impairment, and risked missing out on essential services due to poor professional-parent/patient communication.