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Paper Description


Influence of medical training on self-medication by students


Authors: H. James, S.S. Handu, K.A.J. Al Khaja, R.P. Sequeira
Abstract: Objective: To examine the influence of medical training on the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication by medical students. Subjects and methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study. A self-developed, pre-validated questionnaire containing open-ended and close-ended items was used for data collection. Medical students in the 2nd and 4th year of the medical course at the Arabian Gulf University Bahrain filled in the questionnaire anonymously. Data were analyzed using SPSS and results expressed as counts and percentages. 2-tailed Chi2-test was applied and p < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The respondents (n = 141) had a mean age of 19.94 ± 1.21 years. Overall, they had a fair knowledge about appropriate self-medication but knowledge of the benefits and risks of self-medication was adequate. Self-medication was perceived to be time-saving, providing quick relief in common illnesses, a learning experience, economical, and convenient. Among the perceived disadvantages were adverse drug reactions, inappropriate drug use, and the risk of making a wrong diagnosis. Majority of the respondents had a positive attitude favoring self-medication and read the package insert. The practice of self-medication was common and often inappropriate. The commonest indications for self-medication were cough, cold and sore throat (63.2% in Year 2) and headache (78.3% in Year 4). Mild illness, previous experience, and lack of time were the most frequent reasons for resorting to self-medication. Analgesics were the commonest drugs used, and drugs were mostly obtained from private pharmacies. Students of Year 4 had better knowledge about appropriate self-medication (58.7% versus 35.8%, p = 0.02), had greater awareness of the risks of self-medication and would discourage others from practicing self-medication (58.7% versus 40.4%, p = 0.04). They had a more confident attitude (54.3% versus 35.1%, p = 0.03) and a smaller number of them would seek a prescription (34.8% versus 54.3%, p = 0.03). They practiced self-medication more often (73.3% versus 52.6%, p = 0.02) and more appropriately (58.7% versus 35.8%, p = 0.02). Conclusion: This cross-sectional study shows that senior medical students tend to have greater knowledge of appropriate self-medication, have a more confident as well as concerned attitude towards self-medication, and tend to practice self-medication more often and appropriately.
Published in: International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics;46(1):23 - 29
URL: http://www.dustri.com/nc/article-response-page.html?artId=1667&doi=
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