Prevalence and reasons for practicing self-medication among basic health staff: case of Monywa District, Myanmar: a cross-sectional study
Keywords:Self-medication, Prevalence, Reasons, Basic health staff
Background: Self-medication is often associated with an incorrect diagnosis, wrong medication, delayed effective medical care, disease masking, prolonged-course therapy, and harmful effects following medication. This study aimed to demonstrate self-medication prevalence and detect the reasons for practicing self-medication among BHS.
Methods: Researchers conducted this cross-sectional study within four township health departments of Monywa District. A total of 405 BHS was culled from each subpopulation of BHS through proportional sampling. SPSS version-25 was applied for data analysis.
Results: This study demonstrated that the self-medication prevalence among BHS was 57.8%, of which self-medication of antibiotics was 61.5%. The most common reasons for self-medication were cold, cough, fever, ache and pain in the head, throat, teeth, muscles, and bones, gastrointestinal symptoms, and high blood pressure. Commonly practiced self-medication drug was pain relievers (86.8%) and the most preferred antibiotic self-prescribed was amoxicillin (26.5%). Other drug types used for self-medication were cold and cough medicines, gastro-intestinal medicines, vitamins and minerals, and anti-hypertensive, contraceptive, hypoglycemic, and herbal medicines. Mostly, self-medication practices were based on own experiences (83.3%), easy access and availability of medicines (82.5%), academic knowledge of the diseases (41%), and treatment options (47.4%), considering the symptoms as minor (29.5%).
Conclusions: A high prevalence of self-medication occurred among BHS. This study points out that BHS needs to be more comprehensive about safety, regulations, and rational use of medicines. This study suggests that the Myanmar technical working groups should enforce the National medicines policy.
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