How to Investigate the Use of Medicines by Consumers
(2004; 98 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contents1. Why study medicines use by consumers
Open this folder and view contents2. What influences medicines use by consumers
Close this folder3. How to study medicines use in communities
View the document3.1 Introduction
View the document3.2 Describing and identifying medicines use problems
View the document3.3 Study of documents
View the document3.4 Semi-structured interviews
View the document3.5 Focus group discussions
View the document3.6 Observation techniques
View the document3.7 Structured interviews
View the document3.8 Weekly illness recalls
Open this folder and view contents4. Prioritizing and analysing community medicines use problems
Open this folder and view contents5. Sampling
Open this folder and view contents6. Data analysis
Open this folder and view contents7. Monitoring and evaluating rational medicines use interventions in the community
View the documentBack cover
 

3.1 Introduction

The medicine use investigations presented in this manual are intended as a basis for developing an intervention project.

Such drug use studies should be:

Efficient: Do not collect more information than needed and do not measure more accurately than needed.

Flexible: Learn-as-you-go approach, whereby newly generated information helps to set the agenda for the later stages in the development of interventions.

Participatory: Methods which allow for stakeholder participation in data gathering and analysis are preferred.

Triangulated: Use more than one, and generally three, methods to cross-check the information.

In the community: Learning takes place in the community or population groups which experience the problem, in short, intensive periods of fieldwork.


As explained in Chapter 1, the planning and implementation of community drug use interventions is a step-by-step process (see figure 3). In this chapter we focus on step 1, Describe drug use practices and identify problems. The aim in step 1 is to get an overview of the drug use problems in a region or a country. We want to identify the many different kinds of problems that occur. In steps 2 and 3 (see Chapter 4) we prioritize the problem and analyse why it occurs, as a basis for developing an effective intervention. Evaluation studies (step 7) aim to measure whether the intervention has been effective (see Chapter 7).

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