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Somali Clinical Topics


Clinical topics related to Somali culture.

Responding to a Request: Gender-Exclusive Swims in a Somali Community
Article highlighted as 'Local Acts' in the January–February 2010, installment of Public Health Reports, the official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service. The article describes a creative intervention to improve physical activity among Somali immigrants in Seattle, Washington. Moore et al. describe how they designed a culturally sensitive intervention to foster swimming as a form of physical activity in this community by enhancing access to public pools and creating a social support network around the swim events.
A Provider's Guide to Communicating with Diabetic and pre-Diabetic Somali Patients
A concise guide from WellShare International for health care providers about having the conversation of diabetes with Somali patients. Topics include Somali cultural foods and how to adapt them to be healthier, and suggested questions to ask patients about their diets.
Breast Feeding Support for Somali Mothers - PDF
A powerpoint slide show saved as PDF (22 slides), produced by practitioners at Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington, 2007; about infant overfeeding in immigrant families, with focus on Somali families. Considers factors leading to overfeeding, guidance for prenatal and postpartum education, and information about Somali cultural experience.
Clinical Pearl: Circular Burn Scarring on Asian and African Patients
A short clinical pearl about patterned circular scars on the skin of Asian and African patients.
Clinical Pearl: Report on Somali Diet
A clinical pearl abstract about information collected from Somali nutrition education groups about the Somali diet.
Clinical Pearl: Uvulectomy
A short clinical pearl on a tradition surgery, uvulectomy, performed in some African and middle eastern countries.
Clinical Pearl: Dysuria Symptoms in Somali girls and women
A short clinical pearl about dysuria in Somali females who have had ritual genital surgery.
Clinical Pearl: Skin Decorations in East African Patients
A short clinical pearl about the use of henna as skin decoration.
Dangers of Using Black Henna - Warning from Public Health - Seattle & King County
Public Health – Seattle & King County warns against use of henna products that contain additives to create temporary tattoos and which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Contains images of allergic reaction, and links to more information from Minnesota Dept of Health and the US FDA.
Diabetes in the Somali Community: Cultural Information and Recommendations for Diabetes Educators
Information for diabetes educators about diabetes in the Somali refugee community, featuring information about religion, traditional diet and cultural beliefs, recommendations for providers and links to patient education resources.
Discussing Measles and MMR Vaccine with Your Somali Patients
Brief article with background information and recommendations relevant to facilitating conversation with Somali patients about measles and MMR vaccine, including addressing concerns related to misinformation about link between MMR and autism.
Failure to Thrive and Oral Aversion in Immigrant Infants and Toddlers
Summary report of a quality improvement project carried out to determine if there were common patterns found in the history and presentation of non-organic failure to thrive among Somali infants and if underlying cultural factors might be influencing this condition.
Female Genital Cutting: An Evidence-Based Approach to Clinical Management for the Primary Care Physician
A review article providing an introduction to the practice of female genital cutting (FGC), the different types, cultural considerations for physicians caring for patients with FGC, and some culturally sensitive approaches to discussions about this topic with girls and women for whom this is an issue.
Food and fasting in Somali Culture
Information about typical Somali foods and fasting traditions, influenced by Sunni Muslim practice.
Group Nutrition Education Poster
A 1 page poster PDF summarizing a WIC group nutrition project for Spanish and Somali families.
Hyperlipidemia: Diet, Education, and Health Promotion for the Somali Refugee Population
Conversations with providers in Seattle revealed a high incidence of elevated cholesterol among their Somali patients. This article provides information related to Somali culture and hyperlipidemia including topics like epidemiology/observations; translation or language equivalents; dietary practices and food preparation; along with tools & suggestions for providers, and patient education resources available in the Somali Language.
Medical Examiner Dialogue - Somali
Information about the cultural and religious norms associated with death and dying among Somalis.
Mental Health Risks and Resilience among Somali and Bhutanese Refugee Parents
October 2016 Report from the Migration Policy Institute looks at the factors that promote or undermine the mental health of young children with refugee parents.
Muslim Religious Observances and Diabetes
Information about fasting practices, and recommendations for providers caring for diabetic patients during times of fasting. Includes recommendations related to medication management.
Oral Health Beliefs, Traditions and Practices in the Somali Culture
Information about cultural practices and health beliefs impact the oral care of Somalis, and practical implications for providers.
Perinatal Profile for Patients from Somalia
Information to help providers become familiar with the cultural values and historical experiences of women from Somalia and their families, as it pertains to obstetrical outcomes and providing culturally appropriate care.
Peripartum and Infant Care Issues and Practices among Refugee Groups in Seattle
Some traditional practices around pregnancy and infant care in Southeast Asian and East African groups in Seattle.
Report on Somali Diet
Information about common dietary beliefs and practices of Somali participants in WIC nutrition education.
Report on Somali Diet
PDF format of "Report on Somali Diet"
Skin-Lightening Practices and Mercury Exposure in the Somali Community
Article in the July 2013 edition of Minnesota Medicine, the regional medical journal of the Minnesota Medical Association. This article describes an investigation that involved interviewing Somali women about skin-lightening practices and the products they use and then testing those products for mercury. Eleven of the 27 product samples (47%) were found to contain mercury. Some exceeded the current FDA threshold of 1 part per million. This has prompted both state and federal health officials to issue warnings about the use of these products. The article presents a table with specific product names and their corresponding mercury levels.
Somali Asthma Cultural Profile
Information about Somali perspectives on Asthma.
Somali Depression Profile
Article about Somali culture, relating to mental health, depression.
Somali Health Board Perinatal Youtube video
This is a short video produced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on behalf of the Somali Health Board (SHB- Seattle), promoting the work done by SHB Perinatal Committee. SHB partnered with Columbia Public Health, UW Medicine and Seattle King County Public Health to advocate and promote Centering Pregnancy culturally specific for Somali women throughout King County.
Somali Hepatitis Cultural Profile
A brief overview of some cultural understandings of hepatitis.
Somali Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Study: Infant and Young Child Feeding and Health Seeking Practices
PDF (102 pages) Report of a study conducted to enhance understanding of the contribution of poor child care practices to malnutrition (both acute and chronic) and subsequently to provide key recommendations for simple and effective responses.
Somali Mental Health
The challenges facing Somali immigrants and refugees in the Twin Cities are complex and their needs are great. Besides facing enormous cultural and language differences, African immigrants and refugees contend with racism, often have limited literacy skills, and hold jobs where they barely earn minimum wage and have difficulty providing for their families. (Originally Published in Bildhaan – An International Journal of Somali Studies; 2004; reprinted ...
Somali Perinatal Preference: A Summary for Providers
2 page PDF. Summary information gleaned from focus group discussions with Somali women, includes recommendations for OB providers about Somali women's preferences for education and approaches to care during prenatal period and labor/delivery.
Somali Refugee Mental Health Cultural Profile
Information about depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the Somali refugee community; information about common beliefs and traditional treatment for mental illness in Somalia, and advice for healthcare providers working with this refugee population.
Somali Tuberculosis Cultural Profile
Information describing beliefs and practices relating to tuberculosis among Somali immigrants.
Somali woman researches health risks of skin-lightening practices
An article by Ibrahim Hirsi published in MinnPost August 21, 2013 about skin lightening products containing dangerous chemicals used by Somali women. This article references a study conducted at the University of Minnesota.
Stigma and HIV Care in America's African-born Community
A recorded webinar (1hr 7 min; requires Adobe Connect Add-in) presented by Roxanne Kerani, MD, MPH as part of The AIDS Clinical Conference series at Harborview Medical Center. Includes information about the African-born population in King County (demography; HIV epidemiology), stigma (background; in the African-born population; and the HIV care continuum), non-stigma barriers to care, and strategies to improve engagement in care.
Vaccine Hesitancy in the Somali Community - 2011
A 2011 summary of interviews with Somali community leaders in Seattle/King County about beliefs and practices regarding vaccination.
“My baby refuses to eat!”: Overfeeding of Somali Infants
Article describing a pattern of overfeeding Somali infants leading to conditions such as refusal to eat, oral aversion, failure to thrive; includes recommendations for clinically effective intervention and prevention.
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