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Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) experience a disproportionate burden from chronic psychotic disorders (CPDs), which are the most disabling conditions among people aged 10–24 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poor medication adherence is seen in approximately half of individuals with CPDs in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is a major driver of relapse. A CPD treatment approach that combines the use of long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic medications with a brief and practical customised adherence-enhancement behavioural intervention (CAE-L) was recently developed and tested for use in the USA.
To use a qualitative cross-sectional analysis to gather information on potentially modifiable barriers to management of CPDs, and assess attitudes about LAIs from community participants in Tanzania. Findings were intended to refine the CAE-L curriculum for use in Tanzania.
In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with 44 participants (patients with CPD, caregivers, mental healthcare providers). All interviews and focus groups were audiotaped, translated, transcribed and analysed using content analysis, with an emphasis on dominant themes.
Findings indicated that promoting medication adherence and management of CPDs in the Tanzanian setting needs to consider the individual with CPD, the family, the healthcare setting and the broader community context.
Qualitative findings enabled the study team to better understand the real-time barriers to medication adherence, LAI use and management of CPDs more broadly. Refinement of the CAE-L is expected to pave the way for an intervention trial for individuals with CPDs that is culturally and linguistically appropriate to the Tanzanian setting.
To describe the training and participant experience of patients with both severe mental illness (SMI) and diabetes (DM) who were enrolled in a Peer Educator Training Program adapted to a primary health care setting.
The mortality of patients with both SMI and DM is high. Illness self-management includes medications, psychosocial treatments, and healthy behaviors, yet treatment engagement is often sub-optimal with adherence rates of 52% for diabetic medications and 62% for antipsychotic medications among the SMI. To address this problem, a new behavioral intervention study targeting SMI and DM self-management used trained peer educators (PEs) with the same chronic conditions to enhance program effectiveness. A manual facilitated training on intervention topics such as SMI and DM therapies, stress management, and stigma reduction as well as training in group intervention techniques, telephone skills, and crisis management.
We assessed PE attitudes and input using in-depth face-to-face interviews. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, coded, and analyzed using the classic method of content analysis emphasizing dominant themes. A member check-in was conducted where participants commented on analysis results.
Six relevant descriptive themes emerged: (1) positive group experience; (2) success with learning manual content; (3) increased knowledge about SMI and DM; (4) improved self-management skills; (5) increased self-confidence and self-efficacy in becoming a PE; and being (6) united in purpose to help others self-manage their SMI and DM. Qualitative evidence supports structured training for SMI-DM PEs. Key components include written educational materials and the power of the group process to increase knowledge, self-management skills, confidence, and self-efficacy. Recommendations are offered to support further endeavors to mobilize peers with SMI to help other patients with complex comorbidities better manage their own health.
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