SELF-MEDICATION-A PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM IN ROMANIA NOWADAYS. THE FIRST QUESTS
Self-medication is an important part of the health care system, designed to educate the population in the spirit of responsibility for their own health, to inform and to provide medical and pharmaceutical services. Self-medication has a high prevalence in Romania where people choose to treat themselves by fever, headaches, cough, cold, and pain. The aim of the study was to evaluate the situation regarding self-medication in general population, estimated with a questionnaire. Material and methods: The study was conducted on 100 respondents aged 18-60 years, patients of an individual family medicine cabinet in Iasi County, North-East Romania. The instrument was a questionnaire consisting of 28 items and structured in two parts: a first part evaluating the respondent's demographic and socioeconomic data, and a second part exploring patient's perception of self-medication, mainly the frequency of use and cause. Results: The demographic structure of the study group showed an increased frequency of persons aged 35-44 years (22%), female gender (64%), from urban area (85%); 65% of whom are graduates of upper secondary education, most of them employed (52%) and married (63%). Romanian respondents claim that self-medication is a self-administered treatment (50%), take medicines after consulting websites (32%), for sore throat and fever (24%), because of the lack of money (35%), most of them being anti-inflammatories (30%), unaware of the risks of self-medication (50%), but thinking that one of the main risks could be inappropriate administration (41%), choosing self-medication as first option (12%), but also ask for a physician (69%). Conclusions: Self-medication is influenced by the sociodemographic characteristics of individuals such as age, morbidity, health and attitude, stress, and social rules. Getting a look at the elephant meaning this big issue named self-medication, using a questionnaire applied to specific groups of population could an important aspect that can help healthcare professionals to provide personalized counseling based on the specific needs to prevent self-medication risks and adverse effects of inappropriately use of medicines.
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