Adapting Pediatric Psychology Interventions: Lessons Learned in Treating Families From the Middle East

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Objective Pediatric psychologists are increasingly called upon to treat children from non-Western countries, whose cultures may contrast with a Western medical setting. Research on cultural adaptations of evidence-based treatments (EBTs), particularly for individuals from the Middle East, is sparse. To address this need, we discuss clinical issues encountered when working with patients from the Middle East. Methods Synthesis of the literature regarding culturally adapted EBTs and common themes in Middle Eastern culture. Case vignettes illustrate possible EBT adaptations. Results Integrating cultural values in treatment is an opportunity to join with patients and families to optimize care. Expectations for medical and psychological treatment vary, and collaborations with cultural liaisons are beneficial. Conclusions Critical next steps include systematic development, testing, and training in culturally adapting EBTs in pediatric medical settings. Increased dialogue between clinicians, researchers, and cultural liaisons is needed to share knowledge and experiences to enhance patient care.

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