Health  Vol.9 No.7 , July 2017
Perceived Barriers to Asthma Therapy in Ethno-Cultural Communities: The Role of Culture, Beliefs and Social Support
Background : Adherence to therapy is integral to successfully managing asthma, which requires comprehension of what, when, and how to use medication and diligence in following management plan. Asthma patients from ethnic minority groups have more morbidity and reported filling their prescriptions less often. Limited information is available in Canadian literature on ethnic differences in their perceptions of asthma management. We aimed to document patient perceived adherence to asthma therapy among targeted ethno-cultural groups. Methods : We evaluated perceived barriers to therapy adherence, including: cultural beliefs and practices, patient/care-provider communication, self-management knowledge, and medication costs. We conducted a cross sectional study and interviewed 85 Chinese or Punjabispeaking adult asthma patients. Results : Lack of sufficient instructions from physicians, language/communication barriers, lack of skills on how to use inhalers, and high medication costs and medication side effects were most reported barriers to proper self-management practices. Most participants lived with others in the same household and reported high social support from home caregivers. The influence of family on self-management practices was obvious. Conclusion: Better understanding of patient needs, provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate education, and inclusion of home caregivers into the management practices are necessary to improve asthma outcomes in Chinese and Punjabi communities.
Cite this paper: Shum, M. , Poureslami, I. , Liu, J. and FitzGerald, J. (2017) Perceived Barriers to Asthma Therapy in Ethno-Cultural Communities: The Role of Culture, Beliefs and Social Support. Health, 9, 1029-1046. doi: 10.4236/health.2017.97075.

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