Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

sections

More to be done to support children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in medicines adherence and optimisation

The article ‘Communicating with parents and involving children in medicines optimisation’ written by Ashifa Trivedi and published in The Pharmaceutical Journal (2017;299(7906):231­–234) was an enjoyable and thought-provoking read, especially while I embark on a PhD concerning medication adherence in adolescents with asthma from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

Trivedi highlights that children often rely on their parents and/or carers to administer their medications, therefore involving parents — and children, where possible — in decision-making is essential to medicines optimisation. It was suggested that communicating with and educating parents improves morbidity, knowledge, adherence, self-management, control of asthma, and quality of life.

Having read the article, however, I was left with a sense that there is so much more to consider on this important topic. I wonder if the challenges faced by parents (of children with asthma) from minority ethnic groups are considered when designing and proffering intervention strategies for medicines adherence. Most intervention strategies geared towards improving medicines adherence in paediatric asthma are directed at majority populations with a one-size-fits-all approach. This potentially widens health inequalities. Few studies have investigated relationships between the management of paediatric asthma and factors associated with ethnicity, such as migration and immigration status, religious beliefs, language barrier, health literacy, educational level of parent/carer, culture and tradition, and early-years environmental exposure. Parent/caregiver education is pertinent to medicines optimisation in paediatric populations, but the provision of this education must be tailored to meet individual needs, and cultural differences in ethnic minority populations must be considered.

A recent NHS-commissioned framework to explore the best investment of scarce medicines optimisation resources identified overcoming cultural barriers as an important area for improvement. In my practice as a community pharmacist in West Yorkshire, a recent consultation with a mother (of an asthmatic child) from a minority ethnic group highlighted the importance of tailoring information to meet individual need, taking into account the patient’s circumstances, preferences and background. The child had to go without his inhaler for two weeks because the mother, who is not computer-literate and has no computer, was asked to request the repeat prescription online.

In summary, proffering culturally relevant interventions for medicines adherence is essential to developing the most effective approaches of improving medicines adherence among children with asthma. Healthcare professionals must examine the needs of specific population groups and consider interventions that take into account the wide diversity and differences within any population group.

 

Omaedo Iyoko, community pharmacist, West Yorkshire, and PhD student, University of Leeds

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204504

Readers' comments (1)

  • Michael Achiampong

    A thought-provoking piece. It is alarming to read that a child with asthma had no inhaler for 14 days! So "who" exactly told the mother to "request the prescription online [only]"?!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and British National Formulary for Children

    BNF and British National Formulary for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and British National Formulary for Children, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £138.50Buy now
  • BNF and British National Formulary for Children

    BNF and British National Formulary for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and British National Formulary for Children, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £262.50Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Strategic Medicines Management

    Strategic Medicines Management

    A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Paediatric Drug Handling

    Paediatric Drug Handling

    Written for new pharmaceutical scientists, this book provides a background in paediatric pharmacy and a comprehensive introduction to children's medication.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.