Communication with patients of South Asian origin: problems and solutions in the context of rheumatoid arthritis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External organisations

  • Department of Rheumatology, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust


Rheumatoid arthritis is a common chronic disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. As with all chronic conditions, active participation by the patient, in areas ranging from accepting the diagnosis and its treatment to the implementation of coping strategies, is essential for effective management. Involving any patients in these process can be difficult; however patients of South Asian origin can present particular challenges. Many patients of South Asian origin have beliefs about disease causation and the utility of pharmacological and non‐pharmacological treatments that differ from those held by other patients. Communication difficulties can make it difficult for health care professionals to address these issues. We discuss strategies to support patients and encourage their involvement including linguistically appropriate educational material, peer support and telephone helplines.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-26
JournalEthnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Rheumatoid arthritis, Ethnicity, Therapies, Communication, Patient education