Hamzah Tareq Salih Al-Zubaidi is a faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Dep. of Pharmaceutics in Monash University, Australia.


The objective 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.
Research Design and 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 audio-taped, transcribed and coded thematically. Data collection continued until saturation was reached.
A total 100 participants were recruited into two groups: 60 Arabic-speaking and 40 Caucasian English-speaking. Both groups had similar demographic and clinical characteristics. Only 5% of Arabic-speaking participants had well-controlled diabetes compared to 17.5% of 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 that revealing the diagnosis within their wider Arabic community due to stigma and collective negative social labelling of diabetes. Confidence in non-Arabic speaking healthcare providers was lacking.
Findings yielded new insights on medication-taking practices and associated factors of 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.