"It is the medicines that keep us alive"

Lived experiences of diabetes medication use and continuity among adults in Southeastern Tanzania

Emmy Metta, Hinke Haisma, Flora Kessy, Eveline Geubbels, Inge Hutter, Ajay Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Diabetes is a chronic condition which requires many patients to use medications for the remainder of their lives. While this regimen is demanding, little research has been done on the experiences individuals have with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use, especially patients from rural areas of Tanzania. This study explores the lived experiences of diabetes medication use and the continuity of use among adult diabetes patients from rural communities with limited access to diabetes medicines. Methods: We conducted 19 in-depth interviews to explore patients' experiences with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use. We employed the 5As of access to care to situate the behavioral practices surrounding diabetes medication use in the study settings. The data analysis followed grounded theory principles, and was conducted with the help of NVivo 9. Results: Study participants expressed positive attitudes toward the use of diabetes medicines, but also concerns about affordability. The patients employed two main strategies for dealing with the cost. The first was to increase their available funds by spending less money on family needs, selling household property, asking family and friends for money, or borrowing cash. They also reported sourcing medicines from pharmacies to save on consultation and laboratory costs. Second, participants reported using less than the recommended dosage or skipping doses, and sharing medicines. The geographic accessibility of diabetes service providers, the availability of medication, and the organization of the diabetes services were also cited as barriers to taking medications and to using them continuously. Conclusions: The strategies employed by the people in this study illustrate their resilience in the face of poverty and failing health care systems. More comprehensive strategies are therefore needed to encourage consistent medication use among people with chronic conditions. These strategies could include the reduction of prices by pharmaceuticals, the strengthening of community risk-pooling mechanisms and sustained health campaigns aimed at patients and the community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18-03-2015

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Tanzania
Costs and Cost Analysis
Pharmacies
Rural Population
Financial Management
Poverty
Health Promotion
Referral and Consultation
Organizations
Interviews
Delivery of Health Care
Research
Pharmaceutical Preparations

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

Cite this

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title = "{"}It is the medicines that keep us alive{"}: Lived experiences of diabetes medication use and continuity among adults in Southeastern Tanzania",
abstract = "Background: Diabetes is a chronic condition which requires many patients to use medications for the remainder of their lives. While this regimen is demanding, little research has been done on the experiences individuals have with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use, especially patients from rural areas of Tanzania. This study explores the lived experiences of diabetes medication use and the continuity of use among adult diabetes patients from rural communities with limited access to diabetes medicines. Methods: We conducted 19 in-depth interviews to explore patients' experiences with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use. We employed the 5As of access to care to situate the behavioral practices surrounding diabetes medication use in the study settings. The data analysis followed grounded theory principles, and was conducted with the help of NVivo 9. Results: Study participants expressed positive attitudes toward the use of diabetes medicines, but also concerns about affordability. The patients employed two main strategies for dealing with the cost. The first was to increase their available funds by spending less money on family needs, selling household property, asking family and friends for money, or borrowing cash. They also reported sourcing medicines from pharmacies to save on consultation and laboratory costs. Second, participants reported using less than the recommended dosage or skipping doses, and sharing medicines. The geographic accessibility of diabetes service providers, the availability of medication, and the organization of the diabetes services were also cited as barriers to taking medications and to using them continuously. Conclusions: The strategies employed by the people in this study illustrate their resilience in the face of poverty and failing health care systems. More comprehensive strategies are therefore needed to encourage consistent medication use among people with chronic conditions. These strategies could include the reduction of prices by pharmaceuticals, the strengthening of community risk-pooling mechanisms and sustained health campaigns aimed at patients and the community.",
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"It is the medicines that keep us alive" : Lived experiences of diabetes medication use and continuity among adults in Southeastern Tanzania. / Metta, Emmy; Haisma, Hinke; Kessy, Flora; Geubbels, Eveline; Hutter, Inge; Bailey, Ajay.

In: BMC Health Services Research, Vol. 15, No. 1, 111, 18.03.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - "It is the medicines that keep us alive"

T2 - Lived experiences of diabetes medication use and continuity among adults in Southeastern Tanzania

AU - Metta, Emmy

AU - Haisma, Hinke

AU - Kessy, Flora

AU - Geubbels, Eveline

AU - Hutter, Inge

AU - Bailey, Ajay

PY - 2015/3/18

Y1 - 2015/3/18

N2 - Background: Diabetes is a chronic condition which requires many patients to use medications for the remainder of their lives. While this regimen is demanding, little research has been done on the experiences individuals have with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use, especially patients from rural areas of Tanzania. This study explores the lived experiences of diabetes medication use and the continuity of use among adult diabetes patients from rural communities with limited access to diabetes medicines. Methods: We conducted 19 in-depth interviews to explore patients' experiences with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use. We employed the 5As of access to care to situate the behavioral practices surrounding diabetes medication use in the study settings. The data analysis followed grounded theory principles, and was conducted with the help of NVivo 9. Results: Study participants expressed positive attitudes toward the use of diabetes medicines, but also concerns about affordability. The patients employed two main strategies for dealing with the cost. The first was to increase their available funds by spending less money on family needs, selling household property, asking family and friends for money, or borrowing cash. They also reported sourcing medicines from pharmacies to save on consultation and laboratory costs. Second, participants reported using less than the recommended dosage or skipping doses, and sharing medicines. The geographic accessibility of diabetes service providers, the availability of medication, and the organization of the diabetes services were also cited as barriers to taking medications and to using them continuously. Conclusions: The strategies employed by the people in this study illustrate their resilience in the face of poverty and failing health care systems. More comprehensive strategies are therefore needed to encourage consistent medication use among people with chronic conditions. These strategies could include the reduction of prices by pharmaceuticals, the strengthening of community risk-pooling mechanisms and sustained health campaigns aimed at patients and the community.

AB - Background: Diabetes is a chronic condition which requires many patients to use medications for the remainder of their lives. While this regimen is demanding, little research has been done on the experiences individuals have with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use, especially patients from rural areas of Tanzania. This study explores the lived experiences of diabetes medication use and the continuity of use among adult diabetes patients from rural communities with limited access to diabetes medicines. Methods: We conducted 19 in-depth interviews to explore patients' experiences with diabetes medication use and the continuity of use. We employed the 5As of access to care to situate the behavioral practices surrounding diabetes medication use in the study settings. The data analysis followed grounded theory principles, and was conducted with the help of NVivo 9. Results: Study participants expressed positive attitudes toward the use of diabetes medicines, but also concerns about affordability. The patients employed two main strategies for dealing with the cost. The first was to increase their available funds by spending less money on family needs, selling household property, asking family and friends for money, or borrowing cash. They also reported sourcing medicines from pharmacies to save on consultation and laboratory costs. Second, participants reported using less than the recommended dosage or skipping doses, and sharing medicines. The geographic accessibility of diabetes service providers, the availability of medication, and the organization of the diabetes services were also cited as barriers to taking medications and to using them continuously. Conclusions: The strategies employed by the people in this study illustrate their resilience in the face of poverty and failing health care systems. More comprehensive strategies are therefore needed to encourage consistent medication use among people with chronic conditions. These strategies could include the reduction of prices by pharmaceuticals, the strengthening of community risk-pooling mechanisms and sustained health campaigns aimed at patients and the community.

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U2 - 10.1186/s12913-015-0768-5

DO - 10.1186/s12913-015-0768-5

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JO - BMC Health Services Research

JF - BMC Health Services Research

SN - 1472-6963

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