Medicine in a multi-cultural society: the effect of cultural background on beliefs about medications
This exploratory, cross-sectional study examined the effect of self-reported cultural background on beliefs about medicines (modern pharmaceuticals) and perceptions of personal sensitivity to the adverse effects of taking medication. Using a validated questionnaire, beliefs about pharmaceutical medication were compared between 500 UK undergraduate students who identified themselves as having an Asian or European cultural background. There was a significant association between cultural background and beliefs about the benefits and dangers of medicines. Students who self-reported to have an Asian cultural background expressed more negative views about medication than those who reported a European cultural background. Students with an Asian cultural background were significantly more likely to perceive medicines as being intrinsically harmful, addictive substances that should be avoided. They were significantly less likely to endorse the benefits of modern medication. There was no significant relationship between cultural background and perceptions of personal sensitivity to medication effects or belief about how doctors use medication. In the total sample, past and present experience of taking medication was associated with a more positive orientation to medicines in general. Students who considered themselves to have a European cultural background had significantly more experience with prescribed medication than those who selected an Asian cultural background. The relationship between cultural background and beliefs about medicines in general was maintained after controlling for potential confounding variables, including chosen degree course, experience of taking prescribed medication, age, and gender. The identification of differences in beliefs about medication, between two specific cultural groups, suggests the need for a greater understanding of the effects of cultural background on medicine-usage with potential implications for the conduct of prescribing-related consultations and for the provision of patient information on medication.
Volume (Year): 59 (2004)
Issue (Month): 6 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:59:y:2004:i:6:p:1307-1313. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.