Struggling during the Stimulant Shortage: A Qualitative Interview Study


End Date July 1, 2024

Primary Contact Benjamin Johnson


Phone +61 429 894 154

Study Details

Purpose of the study:

The purpose of this research is to investigate the consequences of the recent stimulant shortage on individuals who rely on these medications. This study has two primary aims:

  • Access to Medication: The first aim is to understand how individuals’ access to necessary stimulant medications was affected by the shortage. This part of the study will explore changes in prescription availability, alterations in medication regimes, and the challenges faced in obtaining these critical drugs.
  • Impact on Lives: The second aim is to examine the broader impact of the stimulant shortage on the lives of affected individuals. This includes assessing changes in their health, daily functioning, mental wellbeing, and overall quality of life as a result of reduced access to medication.


Participants will be recruited for semi-structured qualitative interviews, which will be conducted and recorded via Zoom. These interviews will go between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Participants will be asked questions about:

  • basic demographics and about their typical medication care.
  • changes in their access to medication.
  • the impact the shortage has had on various aspects of their daily life, and coping strategies they implemented as a result.
  • their interactions with healthcare providers during this period and whether they were provided with adequate information and support.

Thematic analysis will then be conducted, which involves examine answers from participants to extract common themes from participants relevant to our research questions.

Participants will be remunerated $20 for their participation. They will be sent an information and consent sheet prior to the interview and must provide informed consent to participate. No personal information about participants will be recorded to provide anonymity of data. Instead, participants will be identified by a randomized number. All data will be password protected such that lead researchers can only access it.

Funding type (government, non-profit, for-profit) and source:

This project is funded by the 2024 NHMRC post-graduate scholarship, which is a nationally recognized government research grant. Information about the scholarship can be found at the following webpage: