Predictors of self-medication in Serbian adult population: cross-sectional study
- 92 Downloads
Background In spite of many benefits for individuals and community, self-medication has a number of potential risks. Objective To identify predictors of self-medication with over-the-counter and prescription (Rx) medicines without doctor’s prescription. Setting Serbian population of 15 years of age and over. Method This was crosssectional, epidemiological study. Data have been drawn from Serbian National Health Survey 2013 database. Predictors of self-medication were determined among sociodemographic, health related and health services related factors, using multivariate logistic regression models. Main outcome measure Prevalence and predictors of selfmedication. Results The study included 14,623 participants. The prevalence of selfmedication was 27.1 and 24% after exclusion of vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations. Medicines for pain relief were the mostly used medicines without doctors’ prescription in 18.4% of participants. A relatively high prevalence of self-medication with Rx medicines, (1) tranquilizers and sleeping pills, (2) antibiotics and (3) antihypertensives, was found, 4, 2.5 and 1.9%, respectively. Socio-demographic factors (middle age, female gender, higher level of education), health related factors (chronic disease, stress, physical pain), and health service related factors (nonrealized healthcare needs due to long waiting, dissatisfaction with publicly funded health services) have been found as significantly associated with self-medication. Conclusion Self-medication in Serbia is predicted by socio-demographic and health related factors, unmet needs for healthcare and dissatisfaction with publicly funded healthcare services. Improvements in healthcare system, particularly, shortening of long waiting for healthcare services and improvements in pharmaceutical services, particularly better control of Rx medicines dispensing, could contribute in improvement of responsible self-medication.
KeywordsHealth survey Predictive factors Self-medication Serbia
We are very grateful to all participants of Serbian National Health Survey 2013. We are also very grateful to Marina Cvijić, Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Ivan Čvorović, M.D., native English speaker, for editing of the manuscript.
No funding has been received for this study.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
- 1.Heads of Medicines Agencies. European Medicines Agency. EU Medicines Agencies Network Strategy to 2020. EMA/MB/151414/2015. 2015 Mar. http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Other/2015/03/WC500185138.pdf. Accessed 11 Feb 2018.
- 2.Fassbender M. Rx-to-OTC switching: the heart of OTC market. 2016. http://www.in-pharmatechnologist.com/Regulatory-Safety/Rx-to-OTC-switching-the-heart-of-OTC-market-says-GBI. Accessed 11 Feb 2018.
- 3.WHO. Guidelines for the regulatory assessment of medicinal products for use in self- medication. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Jh1462e/6.html#Jh1462e.6.1. Accessed 11 Feb 2018.
- 5.Rezaei M, Safavi ARA, Alavi NM, Kashefi H. Study of self medication in patients with diabetes using path analysis. J Diabetol. 2015;3:1–8.Google Scholar
- 7.Chouhan K, Prasad SB. Self-medication and their consequences: a challenge to health professional. Asian J Pharm Clin Res. 2016;9:314–7.Google Scholar
- 8.National Health Insurance Fund. Number of insured persons, 2014. http://www.rfzo.rs/index.php/broj-osiguranika-stat. Accessed 11 Feb 2018.
- 9.Radonjic V. Marketing and consumption of medicinal products for human use in Repubic of Serbia in 2013. Belgrade: Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia; 2014.Google Scholar
- 11.WHO. Health system financing profile by country. http://apps.who.int/nha/database/Country_Profile/Index/en. Accessed 11 Feb 2018.
- 18.World Medical Assembly. Helsinki Declaration. http://www.onlineethics.org/cms/10929.aspx. Accessed 11 Feb 2018.
- 19.Law on Protection of Personal Data, Official Gazette of RS, No. 97/08, 104/09.Google Scholar
- 20.Law on Official Statistics. Official Gazette of RS, No. 104/09.Google Scholar
- 21.Directive of the European Parliament on Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data, 95/46/EC.Google Scholar
- 22.Insitute of Public Health of Serbia. Results of the National Health Survey of the Republic of Serbia 2013. Belgrade; 2014. ISBN 978-86-7358-060-9.Google Scholar
- 23.European Commission European Health Interview Survey (EHIS wave 2). Methodological manual. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union; 2013. P. 193. ISBN 978-92-79-29424-2.Google Scholar
- 25.Jain S, Malvi R, Purviya JK. Concept of self medication: a review. Int J Pharm Biol Sci Arch. 2011;2:831–6.Google Scholar