Qualitative Research with a Kenyan Flavour. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 011 (1991)
(1991; 2 pages)


Focus group discussions (FGDs) and pretesting, two forms of qualitative research, were used to help Kenya’s national Programme on Essential Drugs develop effective materials to encourage drug compliance. The Programme developed a pilot project to combat misuse and misinformation about drug regimens and to promote the use of authorized providers. While developing the project, FGDs were used to determine the perceived needs of various communities by speaking directly with individuals in small groups. Examples of issues that were raised in the FGDs include limited knowledge about maintaining strict drug regimens and uneasiness about the causes and meanings of side effects. Many individuals also admitted to purchasing drugs from “hawkers” rather than authorized providers. Using the information from the FGDs and other preliminary data collection techniques, the Programme developed a series of five posters in Swahili and a 15-minute cassette in Swahili, Masai, and Kamba. The series had three main messages: “Return to the clinic if you have problems,” “Use only authorized providers,” and “Follow all directions carefully and completely”. This media series was then subjected to three rounds of individual and group pretesting before being presented to the public. The initial round of pretesting showed some language was found “inappropriate” by middle-aged and older Kenyans and was subsequently changed. The last round of pretesting showed more than 75% of the audience thought the materials were understandable and appropriate. Posters and cassettes were then distributed to 24 health centres in 3 districts. After three months, the success of the project was evaluated. According to the evaluation, providers at all sites using the materials considered the package to be an effective health education tool and all three messages prompted beneficial changes in behaviour. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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