Barriers and facilitators to treatment for alcohol use among fathers in Kenya: A qualitative study
Introduction: Substance use disorders accounts for 9.6% of Disability-Adjusted Life Years worldwide. In Kenya, close to 3 million individuals are reported to abuse alcohol but a notable treatment gap persists. This problem is especially pronounced among men, leading to negative consequences at the individual and family levels. This study examines the perceptions of fathers in Kenya engaged in problem drinking and their families about previous experiences with receiving help related to alcohol use. The dynamics of the family as they pertain to these help-related experiences are also explored. Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 11 families in Eldoret, Kenya. Males exhibiting problem drinking, their spouse or partner, and one child were recruited from each family. Thematic content analysis was conducted. Results: Participants only reported informal help delivered by family and community members; they exhibited very little awareness of available formal treatment. Families were deeply affected by the alcohol use and very actively involved in seeking help. Results elucidated barriers and facilitators of fathers’ acceptance of help. Three main barriers to help acceptance included: fathers’ perceiving help strategies as negative or harsh; negative peer influence; and lack of desire to quit. Four facilitators to help acceptance were identified: fathers’ perceiving help to be positive and well-intentioned; financial motivation; perceived social-support for behavior change; and fathers’ motivation to decrease external stigma. Cultural factors, including religiosity and gender identities, emerged as strong influences on experiences of help. Overall, most help efforts were short-term and reported only to lead to very short-term behavior change. Conclusion and Implications: Families and communities are very active in help provision for men in Kenya, though results confirm the ongoing need for effective interventions. Future interventions could benefit from recognizing the role of the family in engaging men in treatment and attending to the identified barriers and facilitators in designing treatment strategies.
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Rights for Collection: Masters Theses