Pain Management and Middle Eastern Culture

Pain Management in Middle Eastern Culture

Middle Eastern culture is very broad since it not only includes countries in Asia but also in Africa. Even though most of the inhabitants are Muslims, some practice Christianity. Therefore, when taking care of a Middle Eastern patient, nurses should remember that the patient’s believe and attitude might not fit into the general category of his or her category.

When they visit healthcare professionals for pain relief, they expect to be treated right away and given medications the same visit as well. If not, they want know why they can’t receive the medication. Patients also prefer explanation about the testing pertaining to the treatment. Nurses are considered helpers and not as healthcare professionals; so their advice might not be taken into serious consideration (Light, 1999).

It is common for friends and neighbors to bring flowers and treats when someone is suffering. Even though some of them may consider illness as a result of sins, sick role is supported. They are acceptable to purchasing organs for transplantation too (William & Hopper, 2007).

Gender plays a big role patient therapy. Male doctor is preferred for both male and female, and the children; only exception is during gynecological visits when only female healthcare workers are preferred.  Husband sometimes take in charge of their wife’s pain management and ask for medication on her behalf.  Family members may seem overly protective of their loved one who is receiving a treatment, but it is interpreted as an out of concern act (Light, 1999).

Middle Easterners like to stand very close when communicating with each other; but when they don’t know somebody, for instance a nurse, they may be reluctant to disclose personal information (William & Hopper, 2007).

In conclusion, when taking care of a Middle Eastern patient with pain it is important to respect the family member concerns and the husband is expected to express the needs on behalf of his wife. For women patient, it is expected that the caregiver be a women as well unless it’s physician who is not a gynecologists. Even though they might not reveal all the personal information, the patients like the pain to be treated right away.


William, L. D., & Hopper, P. S. (2007). Understanding Medical-Surgical Nursing (3rd ed., pp. 41-43).

Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

Light, D. (1999). Transcultural Nursing Care Of An Arabian Patient. In Middle Eastern. Retrieved

April 8, 2010, from Easter New Mexico University website:



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