Faulty genes: consanguinity in the Pakistani community

Faulty genes: consanguinity in the Pakistani community Purpose – This paper seeks to discuss the attitudes and beliefs of the Pakistani/Kashmiri community in Birmingham towards the cultural practice of consanguineous (cousin) marriage and health, and how an understanding of Pakistani/Kashmiri community views may help institute good practice for health care professionals. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research study using eight gender‐ and age‐specific focus group discussions and eight in‐depth one‐to‐one interviews with participants who were in consanguineous relationships. All participants were from the Pakistani/Kashmiri community and residents of Springfield ward in Birmingham. Findings – The findings illustrate Pakistani/Kashmiri attitudes towards consanguinity and health. There was awareness of still births and genetic conditions but a poor understanding of genetics; respondents were reluctant to accept the link between cousin marriages and birth issues and explanations for still births and impairments were largely attributed to the “will of God”. Female respondents were in favour of screening for genetic conditions but would not terminate pregnancies as this was contrary to Islamic ideas about pre‐destiny and all respondents wanted more medical and Islamic scholarly information on cousin marriage and how it is linked to disabilities. Clearly there is a need to improve healthcare outcomes and reduce infant mortality in the Pakistani/Kashmiri community. Research limitations/implications – Research findings correspond with previous studies that have explored ethnic minority knowledge and attitudes to health and healthcare services and the need for culturally competent services. Originality/value – This paper presents some suggestions on effecting behaviour change in this important area. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care Emerald Publishing

Faulty genes: consanguinity in the Pakistani community

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1757-0980
DOI
10.1108/17570981211286787
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to discuss the attitudes and beliefs of the Pakistani/Kashmiri community in Birmingham towards the cultural practice of consanguineous (cousin) marriage and health, and how an understanding of Pakistani/Kashmiri community views may help institute good practice for health care professionals. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research study using eight gender‐ and age‐specific focus group discussions and eight in‐depth one‐to‐one interviews with participants who were in consanguineous relationships. All participants were from the Pakistani/Kashmiri community and residents of Springfield ward in Birmingham. Findings – The findings illustrate Pakistani/Kashmiri attitudes towards consanguinity and health. There was awareness of still births and genetic conditions but a poor understanding of genetics; respondents were reluctant to accept the link between cousin marriages and birth issues and explanations for still births and impairments were largely attributed to the “will of God”. Female respondents were in favour of screening for genetic conditions but would not terminate pregnancies as this was contrary to Islamic ideas about pre‐destiny and all respondents wanted more medical and Islamic scholarly information on cousin marriage and how it is linked to disabilities. Clearly there is a need to improve healthcare outcomes and reduce infant mortality in the Pakistani/Kashmiri community. Research limitations/implications – Research findings correspond with previous studies that have explored ethnic minority knowledge and attitudes to health and healthcare services and the need for culturally competent services. Originality/value – This paper presents some suggestions on effecting behaviour change in this important area.

Journal

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social CareEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 15, 2012

Keywords: Consanguinity; Cousin marriage; Culture; Health; Healthcare services; Personal health; United Kingdom; Ethnic minorities; Medical conditions

References

  • Consanguinity and its relevance to clinical genetics
    Bittles, A.H.
  • Kinship, cultural preference and immigration: consanguineous marriage among British Pakistanis
    Shaw, A.
  • Risk and reproductive decisions: British Pakistanis couples' responses to genetic counselling
    Shaw, A.

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