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Working better with Pacific patients

Using a Soālaupule framework can help connect better with Pacific families to ensure trust and facilitate good clinical outcomes.1

Here are some points to consider:

  • Don’t make assumptions – the quiet patient, and no eye contact can be showing respect.
  • Learning a simple Pacific greeting. 
  • Visual aids may help in consultations and include family members in discussions.
  • Spirituality plays a large part in wellbeing. 
  • The concept of shame can be very real when discussing gender-based symptoms. 
  • The head is tapu. 
  • Families need to be involved in the consultation. 
  • Understand late presentation for medical help – fear, last resort, alternative treatment, access, transport and cost. 
  • Terminal illness – Pacific families prefer to care for family at home. 
  • Mental health is sometimes explained in terms of cultural beliefs and perceptions. 


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