Medicines use issues perceived by Arabic-speaking patients living in English-speaking countries: A systematic review

Publication Name

International Journal of Pharmacy Practice


Objectives: Quality use of medicines, or rational medicines use, requires patients' adherence to the quality principles of medication use. There is a limited number of reviews about quality medication use among migrant patients. This review aims to fill this gap by exploring medication-related issues experienced by Arabic-speaking patients living in English-speaking countries. Methods: The searched databases included WebMD, EMBASE, Scopus, CINHAL, PubMed/Medline and Web of science. Key findings: The initial search retrieved 2071 publications and 23 publications met the inclusion criteria. Our review found that the most frequently reported medication-related issues among Arabic-speaking patients residing in English-speaking countries were problems related to decision-making regarding treatment options, inappropriate counselling and lack of information about medicines and diseases, lack of monitoring and follow-up, and intentional and unintentional medication non-adherence. Informed by the bio-psycho-socio-systems model, contributing factors to the medication issues included used coping strategies, ethno-cultural and religious beliefs and ineffective relationships with healthcare providers. Conclusions: Our review suggests that cultural factors can significantly influence individuals' perceptions and actions around the use of medication. Thus, healthcare providers need to be mindful of the specific cultural affiliations of ethnic minorities and exhibit cultural sensitivity when prescribing medication to migrant patients to foster a better relationship between patients and healthcare providers. Applying a patient-centred approach using shared decision-making can help. Our findings also suggest that pharmacy practice is critical in improving medication safety among Arabic-speaking patients.

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