Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 104–110 | Cite as

Attitudes towards drugs — a survey in the general population

  • Dag Isacson
  • Kerstin Bingefors


Background: Studies have shown that many drugs have a lower effectiveness in clinical practice than would be expected from results reported in randomised controlled clinical trials. Many factors influence the use of drugs. Personal factors such as knowledge, attitudes, motivation, expectations are considered to be of particular consequence. The aim of the study was to analyse attitudes towards drugs from an epidemiological perspective.Design: Cross-sectional surveySetting:The county of Uppsala, Sweden, 1995.Results: 5,404 completed the questionnaire (response rate=68%). A majority either considered drugs as something positive, a help (60%), or as something necessary but evil (38%). A small proportion — around 2% — considered drugs as a danger. There were differences in attitudes according to education and income, self-care orientation, medication knowledge, and state of health. We also found differences in attitudes between users and non-users of certain types of drugs. Users of hypertensive drugs more often considered drugs as necessary but evil than did non-users of these drugs, while users of psychotropic drugs more often viewed drugs as something positive than did patients who did not use psychotropic drugs.Conclusion: A better understanding of the general attitudes towards drugs is important when giving both written and oral information to patients and to the public at large. It is also important to be aware of differences in attitudes between various patient groups and that certain patients, e.g., patients prescribed hypertensive drugs, could require more attention from health care professionals.

Attitudes Drugs Health Medication knowledge Self-care orientation Sociodemographic factors Sweden 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dag Isacson
    • 1
  • Kerstin Bingefors
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmacoepidemiology and PharmacoeconomicsDepartment of Pharmacy Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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