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The Experiences of People Who Quit Khat and the Health Care Professionals Who Support them

Begum, S., Bogosian, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-1244-6387 & McBain, H. B. ORCID: 0000-0002-6742-1104 (2019). The Experiences of People Who Quit Khat and the Health Care Professionals Who Support them. Addiction and Health, 11(4), pp. 243-255. doi: 10.22122/ahj.v11i4.246


Background: This study aimed to explore the barriers and enablers to quitting khat from the perspective of users and the barriers and enablers to supporting users to quit from the healthcare professional (HCP) perspective.

Methods: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) to collect and analyse data.

Results: Overall 10 khat users and 3 professionals were interviewed. Beliefs about the consequences of continued use facilitated user’s decisions to quit. Social influences were a barrier and enabler. For professionals, the social influence of other colleagues and working together was key in enabling them to support clients. Social / professional role and identity was also an important enabler, as professionals saw supporting users to quit as an integral part of their role. A range of behaviour change techniques was identified as potential ways in which quit attempts could be more successful, from the user and professionals perspective.

Conclusions: The study reveals the complexity of khat chewing and quitting from the perspective of khat users, such as the varied influence of family and friends. It also identifies the many barriers and enablers that professionals experience when supporting individuals to quit, such as working with other professionals. There is little evidence for the effectiveness of current quit khat services or little information outlining how they were developed. Current services would benefit from evaluating the effectiveness of the interventions using established methodology. Recommendations for practice in the field of substance misuse have been identified.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Catha, Drugs, Quit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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