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PLoS One. 2014 Dec 11;9(12):e114644. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114644. eCollection 2014.

Self-medication practices and risk factors for self-medication among medical students in Belgrade, Serbia.

Author information

1
Institute of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.
2
Association for Mental Health Promotion, Belgrade, Serbia.
3
Institute of Medical Statistics and Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.
4
Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Self-medication among future health care professionals can represent a serious threat to professionalism in medicine and it has potential to put at risk public trust into this profession. The aim of this research was to investigate prevalence and risk factors for self-medication among population of medical students, because it was previously shown that their attitudes towards pharmacotherapy could affect the way they could prescribe medication in the future.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Research was performed as a cross-sectional study and it included 1296 (84.1%) 1st, 3rd and 6th year students of School of Medicine, University of Belgrade. Students filled out a demographic and self-medication questionnaire created for the purpose of this research and the Physical Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9). Questions about self-medication were related to the period of the previous year.

RESULTS:

Self-medication was reported by 79.9% students. The most frequently self-prescribed medications were analgesics (55.4%). Independent risk factors for self-medication were possession of home-pharmacies (OR = 5.3, CI 95% 3.89-7.23), lower level of father's education (OR = 1.6, CI 95% 1.18-2.25), consumption of alcoholic beverages (OR = 1.5, CI 95% 1.13-2.08), less than 1 hour spent in physical activity per week (OR = 1.4, CI 95% 1.00-2.02), female gender (OR = 1.4, CI 95% 1.02-1.89), older age (OR = 1.1, CI 95% 1.07-1.21) and higher PHQ-9 score (OR = 1.09, CI 95% 1.05-1.12).

CONCLUSIONS:

Self-medication is an important issue among population of medical students. Prevalence of self-medication could be controlled through regulatory authorities and further education.

PMID:
25503967
PMCID:
PMC4263675
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0114644
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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