Perspectives of resettled African refugees on accessing medicines and pharmacy services in Queensland, Australia

Article


Bellamy, Kim, Ostini, Remo, Martini, Nataly and Kairuz, Therese. 2017. "Perspectives of resettled African refugees on accessing medicines and pharmacy services in Queensland, Australia." International Journal of Pharmacy Practice. 25 (5), pp. 358-364. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpp.12324
Article Title

Perspectives of resettled African refugees on accessing medicines and pharmacy services in Queensland, Australia

ERA Journal ID14779
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBellamy, Kim, Ostini, Remo, Martini, Nataly and Kairuz, Therese
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Journal Citation25 (5), pp. 358-364
Number of Pages7
YearOct 2017
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0961-7671
2042-7174
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpp.12324
Web Address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijpp.12324
Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the barriers to accessing medicines and pharmacy services among refugees in Queensland, Australia, from the perspectives of resettled African refugees.

Methods: A generic qualitative approach was used in this study. Resettled African refugees were recruited via a purposive snowball sampling method. The researcher collected data from different African refugee communities, specifically those from Sudanese, Congolese and Somalian communities. Participants were invited by a community health leader to participate in the study; a community health leader is a trained member of the refugee community who acts as a ‘health information conduit’ between refugees and the health system. Invitations were done either face-to-face, telephonically or by email. The focus groups were digitally recorded in English and transcribed verbatim by the researcher. Transcripts were entered into NVIVO© 11 and the data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

Key findings: Four focus groups were conducted between October and November 2014 in the city of Brisbane with African refugees, one with five Somali refugees, one with five Congolese refugees, one with three refugee community health leaders from South Sudan, Liberia and Eritrea and one with three refugee community health leaders from Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan. Eleven sub-themes emerged through the coding process, which resulted in four overarching themes: health system differences, navigating the Australian health system, communication barriers and health care-seeking behaviour. With regard to accessing medicines and pharmacy services, this study has shown that there is a gap between resettled refugees’ expectations of health services and the reality of the Australian health system. Access barriers identified included language barriers, issues with the Translating and Interpreter Service, a lack of professional communication and cultural beliefs affecting health care-seeking behaviour.

Conclusions: This exploratory study has established a foundation for further research into the barriers to accessing medicines and pharmacy services for resettled refugees. The findings are likely to be applicable to a wider population.

Keywordsaccess; generic qualitative research; medicines; pharmacy services; resettled refugees
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
University of Auckland, New Zealand
James Cook University
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