A qualitative study of the perspectives of older people in remote Scotland on accessibility to healthcare, medicines and medicines-taking

Derek Stewart*, Kathrine Lesley Gibson Smith, Scott Cunningham, Sharon Pfleger, Gordon Rushworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background Recent evidence highlights the disproportionate rates of health inequality often experienced within remote
and rural communities. Access to medicines within remote and rural communities may also prove problematic. Objective
The aim was to understand the perspectives of older people in the most remote areas of the Scottish Highlands on issues of
accessibility to healthcare, medicines and medicines-taking. Method Qualitative, semi-structured one-to-one interviews with 13 residents aged 65 years and over in the most remote and rural areas of the Scottish Highlands. Interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed and analysed using a framework approach. Setting Remote and rural areas in the Scottish Highlands. Participants had previously completed a cross-sectional survey. Main outcome measure Themes surrounding the perspectives of older people in the most remote areas of the Scottish Highlands on issues of accessibility to healthcare, medicines and medicines-taking. Results Healthcare was considered convenient, and positive relationships with providers being important. Review of medicines was perceived to be the remit of the doctor, with pharmacists seen as valuable suppliers of medicines.Conclusion Based on this qualitative study, experiences of access to healthcare, including community pharmacy, medicines
and medicines-taking within this sample of older adults resident in the most remote areas of the Scottish Highlands are widely
variable. There may be an unmet educational need, amongst residents, with regard to awareness of the role of pharmacists,
the services they can provide and the benefts which may be experienced as a consequence of engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1308
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Volume40
Early online date9 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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