ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE, AND PRACTICE OF SELF-MEDICATION AMONG HARAR HEALTH SCIENCES COLLEGE STUDENTS, HARAR, EASTERN ETHIOPIA
Background: Self-medication is the selection and use of non-prescription medicines by individualsâ€™ ownÂ Â initiatives to treat self-recognized illnesses or symptoms. It is practiced significantly worldwide even though its type, extent and reasons for its practice may vary. No data is available on the current status of self-medication practices among students of Harar Health Science College (HHSC). Therefore, this study aimed to assess basic information on self-medication practices among students of HHSC, Harar, Ethiopia.
Methods: Institutional based cross sectional study was conducted on students in HHSC from March 21 to March 25, 2016. Study participants were determined by two step stratified sampling followed by simple random sampling techniques. Data was collected using self administered questionnaire prepared in English. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16. Cross tabulation, Pearson Chi-square (Ï‡2) test and logistic regression were applied to show the association between selected categorical variables with self medication. Data was then presented using tables, figures and charts.
Results: Out of the total 237 participants 112(36.50%) were males and 125(52.7%) were females. The prevalence of the practice of self-medication was high (70%) with most frequently reported problems being headache and mild pain (47.3) followed by GI problem (30.8%) and eye and ear symptoms (29.1%). Most of the respondents (55.7 %) read leaflet and 34.6 % of the respondents had some knowledge about the definition of self-medication. The two main reasons for self-medication were knowledge gain (37.6%) and time saving (28.7%). Antibiotic (47%) and pain killer (37%) were the two most frequently consumed medications. Previous prescriptions (33.9%) followed by Pharmacist/druggist (24.6%) were the two most frequently reported source of drug information for self-medication in this study. Besides, 70% of the respondents agreed with the practice of self-medication in the present study. There were statistically significant differences between respondents who reported practicing self-medication based on study year (p<0.05). Most respondents had positive attitude towards self-medication and antibiotics were the drugs most commonly used for self-medication without a prescription despite the fact that they were aware of the risk of development of antimicrobial resistance.
Conclusion: The practice of self-medication was common and, in most cases, inappropriate. Most students had a positive attitude towards self-medication. Hence, drug authorities and health professionals need to educate students about the pros and cons of self-medication.
Keywords: self medication, knowledge, attitude, practice
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