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Self-Medication Practices among Health Workers in a Tertiary Hospital in South-South Nigeria: Prevalence, Pattern and Determinants


Tobin Ekaete A*, Erhazele Jovita, Okonofua Martha and Nmema Eucharia E

Background: Self-medication reduces the pressure on health services, but is often associated with inappropriate and irrational use, even among health workers.

Aims: The study was carried out to determine the practice and determinants of self-medication among health care workers in a tertiary health facility in Nigeria.

Materials and methods: In a cross-sectional study design, consenting health workers, selected through a multistage sampling technique, were interviewed using validated questionnaires.

Statistical analysis: Data analysis was done using SPSS version 21. Bivariate analysis was tested using chi-square. Statistical signi icance was set as p<0.05.

Results: Prevalence of self-medication in the last 6 months was 89.3% and signi icantly associated with age (χ2=8.09, p=0.00) and attitude towards selfmedication (χ2=19.89, p=0.00). Knowledge of self-medication was average for the majority 111 (53.9%). Treatment was sought for headache (92.4%), fever (81.5%), diarrhoea (75.0%) and respiratory infections (61.4%). Common drugs self-medicated included antimalarials (91.3%), analgesics (80.9%), antibiotics (71.2%). Thirty-nine (21.2%) self-medicated with sleeping pills. Familiarity with the treatment options was the main reason for selfmedication for 60.9% of respondents.

Conclusion: The study highlights the need for health managers and administrators to promote responsible self-medication through raising knowledge and behaviour change communication and removing the barriers to accessing medical services. On a broader scale, there is a need to enforce the restriction on the sale of prescription drugs like antibiotics and sleeping pills and support drug dispensers to provide effective counselling while dispensing.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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