Exploring experiences of people using khat and the health care professionals supporting them to quit

  • S. Begum
  • F. Lorencatto
  • A. Bogosian


Background and aims: very little is known about khat use in the UK. The aim was to explore experiences of quitting khat from the perspective of those using it and the healthcare professionals supporting them. Methods: this qualitative study employed semi structured interviews with 10 khat users and five healthcare professionals. Purposive sampling was used. Thematic deductive analysis based on The Theoretical Domains Framework was used. Results: the beliefs held by khat users regarding the consequences of continued khat use facilitated their decision to quit. The social influences from those around them was a key barrier. For healthcare professionals, reinforcement and the successes of other clients was key in enabling them to support clients. It motivated them to support new clients. The environmental context and resources that were available within their organisation was a barrier to the support they could offer; continual funding cuts meant they were restricted in what they could offer clients to facilitate the quitting process. Conclusions: Addressing beliefs about consequences of khat use and taking into account contextual influences can enhance future interventions to support khat users to quit. Structures that will highlight healthcare professionals’ past successes can help them support future clients.
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