Zaheer Ali, Rabeeya Saeed, Fatima Kanwal, Faridah Amin, Noureen Durrani, Areeba Abdullah.
Self-Medication among the Elderly and Factors Associated with It.
J Bahria Uni Med Dental Coll Jan ;13(1):18-23.
Objective: Our study aims to assess the frequency of self-medication in elderly people of Karachi, identify its reasons and associated risk factors. Study Design & Setting: This cross-sectional study was conducted in waiting areas of OPDs at Liaquat National hospital and its outreach centers. Methodology: Study duration was June-December, 2021. We approached all patients and aged 60 years and above. After taking written informed consent, targeted population was interviewed to find out self-medication performed within last three months and its reason and causes. Participants demographics, symptoms for which self-medication was performed, different type of medications used, reasons of opting self-medication and different approaches for dose adjustment were also investigated. Data was recorded by a pre-designed questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 21. Result: Out of 200 elderly included in the study, 87% of them reported self-medication in a 3-month recall period. Pain (63.8%), fever (56.9%), headache (50%), cough, and cold (37.4%) were the most common symptoms. Pain killers (81.6%), fever-reducing drugs (58%) and cough syrup (39.1%) were the top three medicines used for self-medication. One-fifth of the respondents reported self-medication of antibiotics. Top three frequent reasons for self-medication were convenience (99.4%), disease of mild nature (85.1%) and for quick relief of symptoms (78.7%). None of the patients demographic factors were found to be associated with self-medication practice. Conclusion: Self-medication is a highly prevalent practice in elderly people of Karachi including non-prescribed usage of antibiotics. Major reforms in primary health care are needed to address this growing problem
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