Popper-Giveon A, Schiff E, Samuels N, Ben-Arye E. Women Supporting Patients, Men Curing Cancer: Gender-Related Variations Among Israeli Arab Practitioners of Traditional Medicine in Their Treatment of Patients with Cancer. J Immigr Minor Health. PMID:24715473.

J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Women Supporting Patients, Men Curing Cancer: Gender-Related Variations Among Israeli Arab Practitioners of Traditional Medicine in Their Treatment of Patients with Cancer.

Popper-Giveon A(1), Schiff E, Samuels N, Ben-Arye E.

Author information:
(1)Integrative Oncology Program, Haifa and Western Galilee Oncology Service, Lin Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, 35 Rothschild St., Haifa, Western Galilee District, Israel, Arielapo@netvision.net.il.

The use of complementary traditional medicine (CTM) is prevalent among patients with cancer. An understanding of cultural and religious values is needed to design an effective patient-centered supportive treatment program. To examine gender-related demographic and professional characteristics; treatment goals and approaches; and attitudes toward integration among Arab practitioners of CTM. Male and female Arab CTM practitioners treating patients with cancer were located by snowballing through practitioner and clientele networks. Participants underwent semi-structured, in-depth interviews which were analyzed thematically, with a focus on gender-related issues. A total of 27 Arab CTM practitioners participated in the study (17 males, 10 females). Female practitioners were found to be treating women exclusively, with male practitioners treating both genders. Female practitioners tend to be younger, unmarried, urban-based and non-Muslim. Male practitioners set out to "cure" the cancer, while female practitioners focus on symptoms and quality of life. Male practitioners employ a more schematic and structured therapeutic approach; female practitioners a more eclectic and practical one. Male practitioners employ a collectivist approach, involving family members, while female practitioners interact exclusively with the patient. Finally, male CTM practitioners see integration as a means for recognition, increasing their power base. In contrast, female practitioners perceive integration as a foothold in fields from which they have previously been shut out. A number of gender-related issues can have a significant impact on CTM therapy among Arab patients. Further research is needed in order to understand the implications of these differences.

PMID: 24715473  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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