Culturally and linguistically diverse patients’ perspectives and experiences on medicines management in Australia: a systematic review

Publication Name

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy


Background: Within the quality use of medicines (QUM)—which entails timely access to, and the rational use of, medicines—medicine safety is a global health priority. In multicultural countries, such as Australia, national medicines policies are focused on achieving QUM, although this is more challenging among their Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) patients (i.e., those from ethnic minority groups). Aim: This review aimed to identify and explore the specific challenges to achieving QUM, as experienced by CALD patients living in Australia. Method: A systematic literature search was conducted using Web of Science, Scopus, Academic search complete, CINHAL, PubMed and Medline. Qualitative studies describing any aspects of QUM among CALD patients in Australia were included. Results: Major challenges in facilitating QUM among CALD patients in Australia were identified, particularly in relation to the following medicines management pathway steps: difficulties around participation in treatment decision-making alongside deficiencies in information provision about medicines. Furthermore, medication non-adherence was commonly observed and reported. When mapped against the bio-psycho-socio-systems model, the main contributors to the medicine management challenges identified related to “social” and “system” factors, reflecting the current health-system’s lack of capacity and resourcing to respond to patients’ low health literacy levels, communication and language barriers, and cultural and religious perceptions about medicines. Conclusion: QUM challenges were different among different ethnic groups. This review suggests a need to engage with CALD patients in co-designing culturally appropriate resources and/or interventions to enable the health-system to address the identified barriers to QUM.

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