Self Medication and Associated Health Care Seeking Amongst Mothers of Children Aged Under 5 with Diarrhea and Respiratory Tract Infections in an Urban Slum

Authors

  • Hina Mahmood Department of Public Health & Community Medicine, Shaikh Zayed Medical Complex, Lahore
  • Rabbiya Sarwar Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medicine & Dentistry, Lahore
  • Hala Bashir Hashmi Department of Community Medicine, Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur
  • Fizza Anwar Department of Community Medicine, CMH Lahore Medical College
  • Shameen Mahmood Department of Periodontology, De Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47489/p000s342z7481-6mc

Keywords:

Self-medication, Healthcare seeking behavior, Children, Diarrhea, Respiratory tract infection

Abstract

Introduction: Self-medication practice in childhood illnesses is quite common in developing countries. Self-medication practices are found to be influencing healthcare seeking behavior in developing countries.

Aims & Objectives: To assess self-medication practices and its association with health care seeking in mothers of children aged under 5 with diarrheal and respiratory illness episodes residing in an urban slum.

Place and duration of study: A cross-sectional analytical study conducted in Samsani-khui, an urban slum in district Lahore, from September 2016- February 2017.

Material & Methods: 422 mother-child units (only one child aged under 5 years) were recruited through systematic random sampling. Responses were recorded on a structured, self-constructed questionnaire about self-medication practices of mothers for the selected child during last 6 months in acute episodes of diarrhea or respiratory illness. Data was entered and analyzed on SPSS version 21. Fisher’s exact test was applied.

Results: Mean age of mothers was 26.81 ± 4.744 years, 16% were illiterate, 44.3% had attained primary education and 92.65% were housewives. 70.62% children included in study were boys. 61.8% mothers never practiced self-medication in their child whereas 38.2% administered medicines occasionally, frequently or every time the child got ill. 92.5% of the mothers practicing self-medication admitted that self-medication is responsible for delay in health care seeking. Out of these mothers, 59% sought formal health care without delay for their child suffering from diarrhea or RTI during last 6 months. 70.8% children recovered completely after practicing self-medication, as reported by mothers. While 23.0% reported late recovery, 3.1% reported complications and 3.1% reported hospitalization after self-medication. A highly significant association was found between practice of self-medication and health care seeking behavior (p=.001).

Conclusion: Practice of self-medication is present in one third of mothers of low income, literacy poor families. Mothers of this stratum showed poor perception about self-medication and as well as treatment delay. Self-medication practice strongly affects health care seeking behavior.

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Published

2020-12-03

How to Cite

1.
Hina Mahmood, Rabbiya Sarwar, Hala Bashir Hashmi, Fizza Anwar, Shameen Mahmood. Self Medication and Associated Health Care Seeking Amongst Mothers of Children Aged Under 5 with Diarrhea and Respiratory Tract Infections in an Urban Slum. Proceedings S.Z.M.C [Internet]. 2020 Dec. 3 [cited 2024 May 18];34(2):26-31. Available from: https://proceedings-szmc.org.pk/index.php/szmc/article/view/36