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A qualitative exploration of barriers to medication adherence among patients with uncontrolled diabetes in Qatar: integrating perspectives of patients and health care providers

Authors Jaam M, Hadi MA, Kheir N, Mohamed Ibrahim MI, Diab MI, Al-Abdulla SA, Awaisu A

Received 18 May 2018

Accepted for publication 24 July 2018

Published 17 October 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 2205—2216

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S174652

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Myriam Jaam,1 Muhammad Abdul Hadi,2 Nadir Kheir,3 Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim,1 Mohammad Issam Diab,1 Samya Ahmad Al-Abdulla,4 Ahmed Awaisu1

1College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; 2Leicester School of Pharmacy, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK; 3Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; 4Family Medicine, Primary Healthcare Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Purpose: To develop an in-depth understanding of the barriers to medication adherence among patients with uncontrolled diabetes attending primary health care (PHC) centers in Qatar by exploring and integrating patients’ and health care providers’ perspectives.
Participants and methods: A descriptive qualitative methodology was used in this study. A trained researcher conducted semi-structured face-to-face interviews at two PHC centers. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes (with varied sociodemographic characteristics) and their respective health care providers (physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dieticians, and others) were purposively selected from the two PHC centers. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic content analysis.
Results: Thirty interviews (14 patients and 16 health care providers) were conducted. A number of barriers to medication adherence were identified and classified broadly under three main themes: 1) patient-related factors, which included patients’ individual characteristics and patients’ perception, attitude, and behavior; 2) patient–provider factors, which included communication and having multiple health care providers caring for the patient; and 3) societal and environmental factors, which included social pressure and traveling to visit friends and relatives.
Conclusion: Patients with uncontrolled diabetes face multiple barriers to medication adherence. Similar themes emerged from both patients and their care providers. This research highlights the need for concerted multidimensional efforts and series of interventions to overcome these barriers. One vital intervention is expanding the scope of pharmacists’ role within the PHC centers through providing medication reconciliation, patient-tailored medication counseling, and medicines use review, which may improve treatment outcomes among patients with diabetes.

Keywords: medication adherence, Middle East, primary health care, qualitative research, uncontrolled diabetes

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