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Original Articles

Self-medication practices and misuse of medicine among mothers of young children attending a teaching hospital in Sri Lanka

Authors:

Bhagya Piumali de Silva ,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Bhagya
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Fathima Hasna Hussain,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Fathima
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Gayathri Ginige,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Gayathri
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Amani Kulathunge,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Amani
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Hasni Kannangara,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Hasni
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Sampatha Goonawardane,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Sampatha
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Manori Gamage

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Manori
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Abstract

Background: Self-medication and misuse of medicines is a growing trend in current society.

Objectives: To assess the self-medication practices, misuse of selected oral allopathic medication and associated factors among mothers of children under 12 years attending the outpatient department (OPD) of Colombo South Teaching Hospital (CSTH). 

Method: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among mothers of children under 12 years of age who attended the OPD of CSTH from March to April 2014 on self-medication of selected oral medicines in the preceding six months. Data was collected by a pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire and was analysed using SPSS 15.0.

Results: Eighty five percent of the 350 study participants were between 25-44 years with a mean age of 33.1±6.7 years. Eighty seven percent of them were Sinhalese, 74% were only educated up to the ordinary level (O/L) and 64% were housewives. There were 54% female children and 51% were between 1-4 years of age.  Ninety five percent participants self-medicated their children. There was a statistically significant association between mother’s higher education level (p<0.05), unemployed mothers (p<0.01), father’s higher education level (p<0.01), father’s higher occupational category (p<0.05), increased age of child (p<0.01) and high parity (p<0.05) with self-medication. Paracetamol was the drug used for self-medication by 92% whilst 8% used salbutamol, amoxicillin and chlorpheniramine. Significant association with misuse of paracetamol was observed among housewives (p<0.01), low educational level of participants and spouse (p <0.05), skilled occupations (p<0.05), older age of child (p<0.001) and having nuclear families (p<0.05). Chlorpheniramine overuse was significantly associated with female child and nuclear family type (p<0.05). 

Conclusions: Ninety five percent of mothers attending the OPD in CSTH during the study period self-medicated their children. There were statistically significant associations between higher educational level of mothers, unemployed mothers, increasing age of child and increasing number of children with the tendency to self-medicate the child.

(Key words: Self-medication, misuse of oral allopathic medication, children under 12 years)

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2017; 46(2): 122-127

How to Cite: de Silva, B.P. et al., (2017). Self-medication practices and misuse of medicine among mothers of young children attending a teaching hospital in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health. 46(2), pp.122–127. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v46i2.8267
Published on 05 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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