Prevalence of Self Medication in Pregnancy in Secondary and Tertiary Care Hospitals of Pakistan and Factors Contributing Towards this Malpractice
Keywords:Self-Medication, Pregnancy, Contributing factors, Secondary care, Tertiary care
Introduction: Self-medication during pregnancy is of special concern as it can lead to serious maternal and fetal adverse effects. By controlling the factors responsible for this practice, we can promote safer health practices during this critical period of a woman’s life.
Aims & Objectives: Comparison of the prevalence of self-medication among pregnant women presenting in secondary and tertiary care hospitals of our country. Exploring the factors that contribute to the practice of self-medication in pregnant women.
Place and Duration of Study: A multi-centric cross-sectional study was performed at the Heavy Industries Taxila Education City Institute of Medical Sciences (HITEC-IMS) for one-year duration i.e from September 2022 to September 2023.
Material & Methods: The study population consisted of 354 pregnant women who were being consulted for antenatal checkups at Gynecology and Obstetrics OPD of Heavy Industries Taxila Hospital (HIT Hospital Taxila) and Tehsil Headquarter Hospital Taxila (THQ Hospital Taxila). Pregnant females of any age and gestation who presented to the OPD for antenatal checkups were included in the study. Any pregnant lady who was unwilling to participate or any of the women who were too critically ill to give a response were excluded from the study. Non-probability convenience sampling was used for the selection of participants. Data was collected using an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire. SPSS software version 25 was used to analyze the data.Results were deemed significant if the P value was less than 0.05.
Results: The prevalence of self-medication in our study came out to be 35.59% in the current pregnancy. There is no significant difference in the prevalence of self-medication in previous and current pregnancies. Prevalence of self- medication in current and previous pregnancies is greater in THQ Hospital than HIT Hospital. Residence, education, monthly income, gestation, gravidity, parity, number of alive children and place of birth are significantly associated with the practice of self-medication in the current pregnancy. Cost and time savings were the two main justifications for self- medication. Headaches were the most frequent complaints treated by self-medication, and leftover medication and drug stores were the most popular sources. Antipyretics and painkillers were the two medications that were most frequently used for self-medication.
Conclusion: The prevalence of self-medication in pregnant women was found to be more in a secondary care hospital as compared to the tertiary care hospital. This concludes that the quality of health care services provided to the patients can significantly impact their attitudes towards the management of their conditions. Thus countries who have lack of tertiary care facilities should try to provide better quality of health care. The factors found responsible should be confronted so that this malpractice can be reduced significantly.
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