Issue

Vol 134 No 1536: 4 June 2021

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Issue Summary

Article
SUMMARY

What helps and hinders metformin adherence and persistence: a qualitative study exploring the views of people with type 2 diabetes

Metformin is the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. Our wider research group recently examined national pharmaceutical dispensing data and found that metformin adherence (taking metformin as prescribed) and persistence (continuing to take metformin) varied by patient characteristics such as age and ethnicity. Although the work provided a good overview of how metformin is being used in New Zealand, it did not provide any information about patient perspectives on the enablers of, and barriers to, optimal adherence and persistence. We interviewed 10 Māori, 10 Pacific and 10 non-Māori non-Pacific patients who had started metformin within the previous two years, and we identified several barriers to metformin adherence and persistence—these included delays in accepting the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, the cost of visiting a doctor and prescription charges, complex and busy lives and feelings of guilt and shame about having diabetes and/or poor control of blood sugars that prevented people from visiting their doctor. Participants’ comments highlighted the importance of developing and maintaining good patient–healthcare provider relationships and tailoring communication styles to the preferences of patients; some Māori and Pacific participants also emphasised the importance of having Māori and Pacific healthcare providers who share their cultural identity and language.

Article
SUMMARY

What helps and hinders metformin adherence and persistence: a qualitative study exploring the views of people with type 2 diabetes

Metformin is the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. Our wider research group recently examined national pharmaceutical dispensing data and found that metformin adherence (taking metformin as prescribed) and persistence (continuing to take metformin) varied by patient characteristics such as age and ethnicity. Although the work provided a good overview of how metformin is being used in New Zealand, it did not provide any information about patient perspectives on the enablers of, and barriers to, optimal adherence and persistence. We interviewed 10 Māori, 10 Pacific and 10 non-Māori non-Pacific patients who had started metformin within the previous two years, and we identified several barriers to metformin adherence and persistence—these included delays in accepting the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, the cost of visiting a doctor and prescription charges, complex and busy lives and feelings of guilt and shame about having diabetes and/or poor control of blood sugars that prevented people from visiting their doctor. Participants’ comments highlighted the importance of developing and maintaining good patient–healthcare provider relationships and tailoring communication styles to the preferences of patients; some Māori and Pacific participants also emphasised the importance of having Māori and Pacific healthcare providers who share their cultural identity and language.