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Patterns of self-medication among medical and nonmedical University students in Jordan

Authors Alshogran OY, Alzoubi KH, Khabour OF, Farah S

Received 4 April 2018

Accepted for publication 10 July 2018

Published 12 September 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 169—176


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau

Osama Y Alshogran,1 Karem H Alzoubi,1 Omar F Khabour,2 Shatha Farah2

1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; 2Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Background and objective: Self-medication practice involves consumption of medicines by one’s own initiative or on the consultation of others without the guidance of a physician. Self-medication and use of over-the-counter drugs are prevalent worldwide public health concerns. University students of medical and nonmedical disciplines may have different levels of health education. This study evaluated the prevalence and patterns of self-medication and the attitudes toward this practice among medical and nonmedical university students in Jordan.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 504 students (medical: 248 and nonmedical: 256). The students were invited to complete a questionnaire that included questions primarily related to patterns of physician visits, self-medication practice, symptoms provoking self-medication, and sources of advice.
Results: Self-medication was highly prevalent and comparable between medical and nonmedical students (~96%). Headache (81.9%), cold (58.3%), and flu (53%) were the frequent symptoms provoking self-medication among students. Self-medication for headache (86.7% vs 77.3%) and tooth pain (53.1% vs 27%) was significantly higher among medical vs nonmedical students, respectively. Self-treatment with painkillers (82.3% vs 73%) or antiallergy (11.3% vs 5.9%) drugs was significantly higher among medical students, while the use of anti-flu decongestants (47.6% vs 60.2%) was lower compared to nonmedical students, respectively. Nonmedical vs medical students were significantly more dependent on friends (14.8% vs 7.7%) and own experience (7.4% vs 2.4%) as a source of self-medication advice.
Conclusion: Self-medication is common among Jordanian university students of medical and nonmedical disciplines. This practice, if used irrationally, may constitute a health problem that needs awareness and interventions by health care regulators in Jordan. Future studies are warranted to examine the impact of self-medication on students’ health.

Keywords: self-medication, students, medical, nonmedical, survey, Jordan
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