Abstract

Abstract:

Background: Although racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse, American Muslim communities share a religious worldview that contributes to similar health and health care behaviors. Yet, this “Muslim” dimension largely overlooked in health disparity research and intervention programs. As such, Muslim community leaders have few opportunities to participate in, and shape, research that addresses religion-related factors impacting Muslim community health outcomes.

Objectives: We initiated a community-engaged, capacity-building program to develop a cohort of Muslim community leaders equipped with the knowledge and intention to participate in Muslim community-relevant, patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).

Methods: By means of a learning institute and webinars, we implemented tailored education focused on research methods, strategies for studying the religious dimensions of health behavior, PCOR tools, and skills for mosque engagement to a cohort of diverse Muslim community leaders. This cohort further participated in a consensus-building activity to identify Muslim community health priorities, and developed project proposals to tackle community health issues. Finally, we convened a national, multistakeholder conference to connect Muslim health researchers and discuss PCOR approaches to combating Muslim health disparities.

Conclusions: A multi-modality capacity-building program can cultivate grassroots motivation and skills for addressing the religious dimensions of health challenges through mosque communities. Yet, for such efforts to translate into specific initiatives strategic partnerships between research funders, health care systems, and mosque community leaders is needed. Our experience suggests that holistic approaches to Muslim health concerns are desired by community members, and that, therefore, discussions and consensus-building projects should incorporate a variety of stakeholders.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1557-055X
Print ISSN
1557-0541
Pages
pp. 385-400
Launched on MUSE
2021-09-15
Open Access
No
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