University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Recurring Vivid Dreams in an Older Hmong Man with Complex Trauma Experience and Cognitive Impairment

Wajih Askar, MD; Ariba Khan, MD, MPH, AGSF; Soo Borson, MD; Michael L. Malone, MD

WMJ. 2019;118(1):171-172

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Introduction: Health care workers need to consider the culture and ethnic preferences prevalent in the Hmong community in order to provide optimal care. We describe an older Hmong man to illustrate the challenges faced and competencies needed by primary care.

Case Presentation: An 80-year-old non-English speaking Hmong man with diabetes, nerve sheath tumor, and hypertension presented to the outpatient clinic with his grandson complaining of sleep problems. He had had 2 vivid recurring dreams during the previous few months. Memory assessment was significant for dementia.

Discussion: This case addresses the complexity in taking care of a non-English speaking Hmong older man who has memory loss, trauma in adulthood, multiple caregivers, and sleep problems.

Conclusions: A careful history from patient and family to get to know their cultural preferences and attitudes was helpful. Identification of the primary caregiver was critical in providing care.

Author Affiliations: Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, Wis (Askar, Khan, Malone); University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee, Wis (Khan, Malone); University of Washington, Seattle, WA (Borson).
Corresponding Author: Ariba Khan, MD, MPH, AGSF, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Aurora Health Care, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 1020 N 12th St, Milwaukee, WI 53233; fax 414.219.7300; phone 414.219.7632; email
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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