Knowledge, perception and practice of self-medication among premedical and basic science undergraduate medical students

Shankar, P. Ravi; Dubey, Arun K.; Dwivedi, Neelam R.; Nandy, A.; Barton, B.
November 2016
Asian Journal of Medical Sciences;Nov/Dec2016, Vol. 7 Issue 6, p63
Academic Journal
Background: Responsible self-medication is an important component of self-care. Medical students are in a unique position as they cannot yet legally prescribe medicines but their knowledge about and exposure to medicines increase as they progress through their course. Xavier University School of Medicine admits students mainly from the United States, Canada and other countries to the undergraduate medical course. Aims and Objectives: The present study was carried out to study the knowledge, perceptions and practice of self-medication among premedical and undergraduate medical students. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted during June and July 2016 using a questionnaire which had been used previously. Knowledge and perceptions were studied by noting the respondents' degree of agreement with a set of 40 statements. The use of selected classes of medicines for selfmedication during the preceding one-year period was studied. The knowledge, perception and total scores were calculated and compared among different subgroups of respondents. Age, gender, nationality and semester of study of the respondents were noted. Results: Eighty-five of the 125 students enrolled (69.1%) participated. The mean knowledge, perception and total scores were 73.45, 62.75 and 136.2 (maximum possible scores were 105, 95 and 200 respectively). There was no significant difference in scores among subgroups of respondents. Analgesics, skin ointments, antipyretics and anti-allergics were commonly used for self-medication. Over half the respondents had used some form of self-medication during the preceding year. Conclusion: The present study provides preliminary information regarding self-medication practices among both premedical and basic science medical students. Further studies on factors influencing and information sources used during selfmedication can be conducted.


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