Ethnic differences of medicines-taking in older adults: a cross cultural study in New Zealand

John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2012, 20 pp. 90 - 98
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Objectives The literature identifies many barriers to medicines use, including bio-psycho-social issues, but less is known regarding ethno-cultural barriers, which are important in culturally diverse nations. The aim of this study was to explore ethnic differences in attitudes to medicines and medicines-taking, focusing on the main constituents of the New Zealand (NZ) population: NZ European, Maori (the indigenous people of NZ), Pacific and Asian peoples. Methods A qualitative study involving a series of focus groups was conducted. Participants (>50 years old) taking medicines were recruited from various community-based groups. The focus group discussions were transcribed verbatim and analysed for key themes via manual inductive coding and constant comparison. Key findings Twenty focus groups (n = 100 participants) were conducted. Three key common themes emerged: (1) conception of a medicine; (2) self-management of medication; and (3) seeking further medicines information. In general, NZ European participants had a very narrow view of what a medicine is, were motivated to source medicines information independently and were very proactive in medicines management.
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