WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 256-267

Challenges faced by visually disabled people in use of medicines, self-adopted coping strategies and medicine-related mishaps

Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Department of Pharmacology, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Chamari L Weeraratne
Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Department of Pharmacology, Colombo
Sri Lanka
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.207022

PMID: 28615552

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Background: Difficulties faced by visually disabled people when using medicines, self-adopted coping strategies, and medicine-related mishaps have been under-explored locally and internationally. The objective of this study was to gain insight regarding this long-neglected issue. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study, using an interviewer administered questionnaire on 63 visually disabled adults was carried out at a vocational training centre and a school for visually disabled students in Sri Lanka. Results: Among 63 participants, 71% wanted to be independent in medicine use and 79% in spite of difficulties had self-administered medicines. They had difficulty in locating medicines (25.39%), identifying medicines and medicine containers (17.46%), and administering liquid medications (25.39%). These difficulties led to inaccurate dosing (14.28%), missed doses (39.68%), and discontinuation of treatment prematurely (28.57%). Self-adopted coping strategies to overcome these difficulties included using different sized and shaped containers, tying medicines to the attire, and dipping their finger into a measuring cup while measuring liquid medicines. Mishaps related to medicines such as taking vinegar instead of gripe mixture and, putting ear drops into eyes were disclosed. Conclusions: There were many challenges for visually disabled people in taking medicines and some self-adopted coping strategies were inadequate to overcome these.

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