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Med Princ Pract. 2006;15(4):270-5.

Evaluation of the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among first-year medical students.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. DrHenryJames@hotmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was undertaken to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among first-year medical students of the Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

This was an anonymous, questionnaire-based, descriptive study. A prevalidated questionnaire, containing open-ended and close-ended questions, was administered to the subjects. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 12 and the results expressed as counts and percentages.

RESULTS:

Out of the 134 respondents, 43 (32.1%) were males and 91 (67.9%) were females; their mean age in years +/- SD was 18.01 +/- 0.78. The respondents' knowledge about appropriate self-medication was poor, but knowledge of the benefits and risks of self-medication was adequate. The respondents found self-medication to be time-saving, economical, convenient and providing quick relief in common illnesses. Important disadvantages of self-medication mentioned were the risk of making a wrong diagnosis, inappropriate drug use and adverse effects. The majority (76.9%) of the respondents had a positive attitude favoring self-medication. Self-medication was practiced by 44.8% of the subjects. The most common indications for self-medication were to relieve the symptoms of headache (70.9%), cough, cold and sore throat (53.7%), stomachache (32.8%) and fever (29.9%). Analgesics (81.3%) were the most common drugs used for self-medication. The practice of self-medication was appropriate in only 14.2% of cases.

CONCLUSION:

Knowledge about appropriate self-medication was poor, attitude towards self-medication was positive, and the practice of self-medication was common and often inappropriate.

PMID:
16763393
DOI:
10.1159/000092989
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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