Background and objectives:
Self-medication is a global phenomenon in both developed and emerging countries. At present, data regarding the practice, patterns, and factors associated with self-medication in Romanian patient groups of various ages and health are relatively scarce. A pilot study that uses a questionnaire was conducted to observe the attitudes as well as the behaviors of a group of Romanian parents related to self-medication, specifically their beliefs and perceived risks of the administration of medicine to their children without medical advice, frequency of self-medications, symptoms, and types of medications most commonly used without medical advice. Materials and Methods:
The questionnaire was sent via e-mail or WhatsApp link on a mobile phone using the existing data at the general practitioner’s office together with the protection of data form and the informed consent form; some participants completed the questionnaire when they came for a regular visit at the general practitioner’s office. Of 246 applied questionnaires, we had a rate of responses of 98%. Results:
We found a high percentage (70%) of parents who self-medicate their children. The data reveals a significant relation between parents’ beliefs on self-medication and their tendency to administrate drugs to their children without medical advice. A significant relation was also found between the likelihood of parental self-medication for their children and the number of illnesses experienced by their children over the six-month period prior to the survey. Even when parents have a correct understanding of self-medication risks, these are not aligned with actual behavior; therefore, parents continue to administer drugs to their children without medical advice. Conclusions:
Our study helps to describe the patterns of parents’ decisions about self-medicating their children and to identify parents who are more predisposed to administering self-medication to their children.
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