Cultural Aspects of Health care for Ethiopian Jewish Immigrants in Israel: A Literature Review

Yulia Treister-Goltzman, Roni Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The unique health-related traditions, perceptions, and communication patterns of Ethiopian immigrants are challenging to Israeli healthcare providers who are trained in western medicine. The aim of this review was to conduct a survey of traditions, beliefs, and symptom reporting by Ethiopian immigrants and culturally oriented interventions to improve the care of Ethiopian immigrants. We used the keywords “Ethiopian immigrants Israel" and “Ethiopian Jews.” Of 418 articles initially retrieved, 35 satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. We described health-related traditions and their possible complications. Possession syndrome was frequently misdiagnosed as a neurological or psychiatric disorder. The medical staff was unfamiliar with these health and illness beliefs, somatization patterns, and the communication style of Ethiopian immigrants. There were successful interventions that involved liaisons from the Ethiopian community and community-based educational activities. Medical professionals working with African immigrants worldwide can use the Israeli experience to develop effective, culturally oriented interventions to optimize the health care for these immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2023


  • Culture
  • Immigrants
  • Israel
  • Jews
  • Traditional medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • General Nursing


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