Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Self-Medication Among Basic Science Undergraduate Medical Students in a Medical School in Western Nepal FC17-FC22
Dr. Sudesh Gyawali,
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Medical Sciences (MCOMS),
P.O. Box: 155, Deep height, Pokhara, Nepal.
Introduction: Studies have shown self-medication to be common among medical students. These studies are however, few in Nepal. The present study assessed knowledge, attitude, and practice of self-medication among second and fourth semestersâ€™ undergraduate medical students and studied differences in knowledge and attitude (if any) among different subgroups of the respondents.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a questionnaire among basic science medical students of Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal. Semester of study, gender, age, nationality, and the profession of their parents were noted. Studentsâ€™ knowledge and attitude about self-medication was studied by noting their degree of agreement with a set of 40 statements using a Likert-type scale. The average scores and frequency of occurrence of particular behaviors among different categories of respondents were compared using appropriate statistical tests.
Results: Two hundred and seventy-six of the 295 (93.6%) students participated. The mean (SD) knowledge, attitude, and total scores were 74.54 (6.92), 67.18 (5.68), and 141.73 (10.76) with maximum possible scores 100, 100 and 200, respectively. There was no significant difference in scores according to respondentsâ€™ gender, age, and the profession of their parents. However, the mean knowledge, attitude and total scores were significantly different among students of different nationalities. Mean scores of fourth semester students were significantly higher compared to second semester students. There were differences in knowledge and total scores among students of different nationalities. Eighty two percent of respondents had self-medicated during the one year period preceding the study; 149 respondents (54%) shared that previous experience with the medicine was one of the information sources for self-medication. Prevalence of self-medication among respondents according to semester of study, gender, age, and profession of the parents was not significantly different. The use of self-medication was more common among Sri Lankan respondents compared to Nepalese. Painkillers (73.2%), antipyretics (68.8%), and antimicrobials (56.2%) were most commonly used for self-medication.
Conclusion: Studentsâ€™ knowledge and attitude about self-medication is good. The prevalence of self-medication among medical students was high.