Many patients missed doses intentionally because they ‘felt fine’ or their symptoms had become less severe. Others decided to stop their treatment during social gatherings – often stopping their medicines to take part fully in activities such as weddings.
The study found many patients of South Asian origin regarded medicines for treatment of diabetes and CVD as necessary.
However, patients who had migrated to the UK described the medicines they received in Britain as more effective than those they would have received in places like India and Pakistan.
Some patients used traditional and herbal remedies rather than ‘Western’ medicines, believing them to better at tackling illnesses without side effects. Family and friends were often important in deciding whether to take these medicines and, in some cases, would also supply them.
Health professionals’ communication styles were found to influence the way patients viewed the treatment of their disease. Some patients felt that they were not always fully informed about disease management and how medication would help to control their symptoms.
The findings suggest that if health professionals took patients’ beliefs about medicines into account when prescribing, this would help them to better advise diabetes and CVD sufferers about the benefits of taking their medication on a regular basis. PTI
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