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Self-medication practices among Vietnamese residents in highland provinces

Authors Ha TV, Nguyen AMT, Nguyen HST

Received 7 April 2019

Accepted for publication 16 May 2019

Published 2 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 493—502


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Thuy Van Ha,1 An Mai Thi Nguyen,2 Ha Song Thi Nguyen3

1Department of Health Insurance, Ministry of Health of Vietnam, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam; 2Department of Planning and Financing, Ministry of Health of Vietnam, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam; 3Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Management, Hanoi University of Pharmacy, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam

Background: Monitoring self-medication practice, which refers to individuals using medicine without instructions of physicians, is critical to control its harmful effects. However, in Vietnam, evidence about self-medication among individuals in highland areas is constrained. This study examined self-medication practice among residents living in highland areas in Vietnam and determined associated factors.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in five highland provinces with 1000 individuals. Information about individual and household’s socioeconomic status and self-medication practice in the last 12 months was surveyed. Multivariate logistic and Poisson regressions were used to identify associated factors with self-medication.
Results: 83.3% reported self-medication in the last 12 months, with the mean times of self-medication being 4.5 times (SD=4.1). Female (OR=0.62, p<0.01), ethnic minorities, higher number of members having health insurance in family (OR=0.82, p<0.01) and higher annual household income (OR=0.78, p<0.05) were associated with the lower likelihood of “Only buy medicines at pharmacy stores when having illness in the last 12 month”. Moreover, people who were females (OR=0.59, p<0.05), white-collar worker (OR=0.25, p<0.01) and had higher number of children in the family (OR=0.68, p<0.05) were less likely to practice self-medication. People who were ethnic minorities, white-collar worker (Coef.=−0.32, p<0.01) and higher number of members having health insurance in family had lower times of self-medication in the last 12 months compared to other groups. Meanwhile, individuals having higher number of members in the family (Coef.=0.07, p<0.01) and higher annual household income (Coef.=0.08, p<0.01) had highertimes of self-medication in the last 12 months.
Conclusion: Residents in highland areas in Vietnam had a considerably high 12-month prevalence of self-medication. Medical products quality management and self-medication guideline are potential to maximize the effects of self-medication. Moreover, promoting the use of health insurance should also be concerned as a solution to address this issue.

Keywords: self-medication, factors, residents, highland, Vietnam

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