Advertisement

European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 19–26 | Cite as

Sociodemographic factors related to self-medication in Spain

  • Adolfo Figueiras
  • Francisco Caamano
  • Juan Jesús Gestal-Otero
Article

Abstract

To identify the sociodemographic factors associated to self-medication (i.e. use of non-prescription medicines) and undesirable self-medication, a cross-sectional study was carried out using a sample (n = 20,311) representative of the population of adults of 16 years of age and older in Spain. Multivariate Cox's regression was used. The prevalence of self-medication in the sample was 12.7% during the two weeks preceding the interview. Self-medication is more prevalent among women, persons who live alone, and persons who live in large cities. For persons who reported acute disorders, self-medication prevalence was higher among those with higher educational levels. The prevalence of undesirable self-medication in the sample was 2.5% during the two weeks previous to the interview. Undesirable self-medication is twice as common among persons older than 40 years, as compared to persons younger than 27 years. Undesirable self-medication prevalence is 53.0% higher among those who live alone as compared to those who live with their partner (95% confidence intervel (CI): 15.2–103.2) and 36.8% higher among students as compared to full-time workers (95% CI: 1.9–83.5). People over 40 years of age, people living alone, and students should be the priority target populations for public health education programs aimed at improving the quality of self-medication behavior.

Cross-sectional studies Non-prescription Prevalence Proportional hazards models Self-medication 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Blenkinsopp A, Bradley C. Patients, society, and the increase in self medication. Br Med J 1996; 312: 629–632.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Laporte JR, Castel JM. El médico ante la auto-medicación. Med Clin (Barc) 1992; 99: 414–416.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    World Health Organization. Guidelines for the medical assessment of drugs for use in self-medication. Copenhague: WHO, Regional Office for Europe, 1986.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fillenbaum GG, Hanlon JT, Corder EH, Ziqubu page T, Wall WE, Brock D. Prescription and nonprescription drug use among black and white community-residing elderly. Am J Public Health 1993; 83: 1577–1582.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Laporte JR. Automedicación: La información de los usuarios aumenta al mismo tiempo que el consumo? Med Clin (Barc) 1997; 109: 795–796.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kamat VR, Nichter M. Pharmacies, self-medication and pharmaceutical marketing in Bombay, India. Soc Sci Med. 1998; 47: 779–794.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Northcott H, Bachynsky J. Concurrent utilization of chiropractic, prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines and alternative health care. Soc Sci Med 1993; 37: 431–435.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dean KJ, Holst E, Wagner MG. Self-care of common illnesses in Denmark. Med Care 1983; 21: 1012–1032.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zadorozynl M, Svarstad B. Gender, employment and medication use. Soc Sci Med 1990; 3: 971–978.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Segall A, Goldstein. Exploring the correlates of self-provided health care behaviour. Soc Sci Med 1989; 29: 153–161.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Abdalla Abdelwahid Saeed. Self-medication among primary care patient in Farazdak clinic in Riyadh. Soc Sci Med 1988; 27: 287–289.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Van Zyl-Schalekamp. Self-medication in three Orange free state communities. S Afr Med J 1993; 83: 345–346.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Subdirección General de Información y Estadísticas sanitarias. Encuesta Nacional de Salud 1993; Rev San Hig Pub 1994; 68: 121–168.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dixon WJ (ed). BMDP statistical software manual. University of California Press: Berkeley 1992.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hosmer DW, Taber S, Lemeshow S. The importance of assessing the fit of logistic regression models: A case study. Am J Public Health 1991; 81: 1630–1635.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lee J. Odds ratio or relative risk for cross-sectional data? Int J Epidemiol 1994; 23: 201–203.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rothman KJ. Interactions between causes. In: Rothman KJ (ed), Modern epidemiology. Boston: Brown and Company, 1986: 311–326.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S. Confidence intervals for measures of interaction. Epidemiology 1992; 3: 452–456.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gordon SM, Mosure DJ, Lewis J, Brown S, McNagny SE, Schmid GP. Prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics among patients attending a clinic for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Clin Infect Dis 1993; 17: 462–465.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Baños E, Bosh F, Toranzo I. La automedicación con analgésicos. Estudio en el dolor odontológico. Med Clin (Barc) 1991; 96: 248–251.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    García Guillén D. Prologue. In: Equipo de investigación Sociológica. La Sanidad Española desde la perspectiva del usuario y la persona enferma. Madrid: Ediciones Encuentro, 1983.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bush J, Rabin D. Who's using nonprescribed medicines? Med Care 1976; 14: 1014–1023.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Viñuales A, Giraldez J, Izu E. Análisis de la auto-medicación (II): Influencia de distintas fuentes de información. El Farmacéutico 1992; 118: 35–58.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Fillenbaum GG, Horner RD, Hanlon JT, et al. Factors predicting change in prescription and nonprescription drug use in a community-residing black and white elderly population. J Clin Epidemiol 1996; 49: 587–593.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Eggen AE. Pattern of drug use in a general population-prevalence and predicting factors: The Tromso study. Int J Epidemiol 1994; 23: 1262–1271.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lowell S. Self-care in health. Ann Rev Public Health 1983; 4: 181–201.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Llavona A, Dago A, Zardain E. Automedicación en oficinas de farmacia de Asturias. El Farmaceutico 1987; 59: 75–88.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Segall A. A Community survey of self-medication activities. Med Care 1990; 28: 301–310.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Thomas DH, Noyce PR. The interface between self medication and the NHS. Br Med J 1996; 312: 688–691.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fernandez J, Morell JL, Guillen JF, Piedrola M. Notas en torno al consumo de fármacos psicoactivos en la población universitaria de Granada G. Rev San Hig Publ 1979; 53: 503–522.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sandler G. South Africa: Self-medication. Lancet 1990; 335: 1149.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Rothman KJ, Greenland S. Types of epidemiology study. In: Rothman KJ, Greenland S (eds), Modern epidemiology. Philadelphia: Lippincott and Raven, 1998: 75–76.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adolfo Figueiras
    • 1
  • Francisco Caamano
    • 1
  • Juan Jesús Gestal-Otero
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Preventive Medicine ServiceUniversity Hospital of SantiagoSantiago de CompostelaSpain

Personalised recommendations