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|Title: ||A PROSPECTIVE STUDY ON SELF-MEDICATION PRACTICES AND CONSUMERS DRUG KNOWLEDGE IN ADDIS ABABA|
|Authors: ||Andualem, Tenaw|
|Advisors: ||Professor Tsige Gebre-Mariam|
|Copyright: ||2002 |
|Date Added: ||19-Apr-2008 |
|Publisher: ||Addis Ababa University|
|Abstract: ||Background: Health and disease exist in a continuum. Self-care is as old as illness if not as
humans. Self-care is a lay behavioural response of individuals to promote or restore their
health. One form of self-care is self-medication. Drugs are central to self-medication.
Although there are arguments for and against self-medication, its contribution to promote
health, and prevent and treat diseases is beyond doubt. Self-medication is the selection and
use of medicines by individuals to treat self-recognized illnesses or symptoms of illnesses.
Socio-demographic and socio-economic variables affect self-medication. In this study, an
attempt has been made to assess self-medication practices with modern drugs and consumers
drug knowledge in Addis Ababa.
Methods: A multi-stage stratified sampling of drug retail outlets and drug consumers (actual
drug users and messengers) was designed and used. Structured questionnaires to assess
prospective self-medication practices and consumers drug knowledge were employed. The
data was analyzed using Epi Info Software.
Results and Discussion: The respondents represented all socio-demographic characteristics
such as age and gender (the proportion of males was twice that of females); education levels
and occupation; religion (the majority being Orthodox Christians) as well as pregnant and
breast-feeding women. The most frequently reported illnesses that prompted drug consumers
for self-medication were found to be gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, headache/fever and
respiratory tract infections (RTIs). More than 30% of illnesses/symptoms of illnesses were of
less than 24 hours duration and more than 40% between one and seven days. The most
common reasons for self-diagnosis and self-medication were non-seriousness of the diseases
and prior experience about the drugs. More than 50% of the drug consumers requested drugs
by specifically mentioning the names of the drugs and one-fifth of them by telling their
illnesses/symptoms of illnesses. The most frequently requested category of drugs were
analgesics/antipyretics (more than 30%), antimicrobials (more than 25%) and gastrointestinal
drugs (more than 17%). Assessment of drug knowledge revealed that drug consumers know
not only the names of OTC drugs but also other potent drugs, indicating widespread use of the
latter. For example, among the top fifteen frequently recalled drugs five were antimicrobials.
Drug consumers had also some dosage form preferences, the highest being injections and
tablets for messengers and for actual drug users, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed
that there is association between illness/symptoms of illness with the duration of illness and
source of advice/information for self-medication (p value less than 0.05). Strong association
(p value = 0.0000) was observed between the source of advice/information and the frequently
requested category of drugs, some socio-demographic variables with sources of
advice/information, knowledge of drugs, and the frequently requested category of drugs.
Conclusion: Self-medication is widely practiced by all categories of respondents for a wide
range of illnesses/symptoms of illnesses. More than 100 different types of drugs were used for
self-medication. Although there is some apparent consumers drug knowledge, it is suggested
that the public has to be educated on the type of illnesses to be self-diagnosed and the type of
drugs to be self-medicated. It is only then that responsible self-medication prevails to promote
health and prevent/ treat illnesses.|
|Description: ||A Thesis Presented to
The School of Graduate Studies
Addis Ababa University
In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Pharmaceutics|
|Appears in:||Thesis - Pharmaceutics|
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