Medicine-taking experiences and associated factors: comparison between Arabic-speaking and Caucasian English-speaking patients with type 2 diabetes

H Alzubaide, Kevin McNamara, C Chapman, V Stevenson, J Marriott

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: The aim of this study was to explore and compare medication-taking experiences and associated issues in Arabic-speaking and Caucasian English-speaking patients with Type 2 diabetes in Australia. Methods: Various healthcare settings in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, were purposefully selected to obtain a diverse group of participants with Type 2 diabetes. Recruitment occurred at diabetes outpatient clinics in two tertiary referral hospitals, six primary care practices and ten community centres. Face-to-face semi-structured individual interviews and group interviews were employed. All interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and coded thematically. Data collection continued until saturation was reached. Results: In total, 100 participants were recruited into two groups: 60 were Arabic-speaking and 40 were Caucasian English-speaking. Both groups had similar demographic and clinical characteristics. Only 5% of the Arabic-speaking participants had well-controlled diabetes compared with 17.5% of the participants in the English-speaking group. Arabic-speaking participants actively changed medication regimens on their own without informing their healthcare professionals. Arabic-speaking patients had more knowledge gaps about their prescribed treatments, compared with the English-speaking group. Their use of diabetes medicines was heavily influenced by peers with diabetes and family members; conversely, they feared revealing their diagnosis within the wider Arabic community due to stigma and collective negative social labelling of diabetes. Confidence in non-Arabic-speaking healthcare providers was lacking. Conclusions: Findings yielded new insights into medication-taking practices and associated factors in Arabic-speaking patients with diabetes. It is vital that healthcare professionals working with Arabic-speaking patients adapt their treatment approaches to accommodate different beliefs and views about medicines.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1625-1633
    Number of pages9
    JournalDiabetic Medicine
    Issue number12
    Early online date2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


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