Poles in pharmacy - source of knowledge and prevalence of over the counter usage
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Self-medication is a procedure that is increasingly eagerly chosen by people all over the world, especially in common conditions (e.g. infections of upper respiratory tract). The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of self-medication and identify the sources of knowledge used by Polish society in searching for information on OTC medicines. The study was conducted in the group of 252 Internet users at working age (18-64 years) living in Poland (women n=208; 82.5%, men m=44; 17.5%) and used an original questionnaire consisting of 29 questions available on Internet from December 2016 to February 2017. According to the obtained results self-treatment was undertaken by 90.08% of Poles. Using OTC products was most prevalent among people with university education (p=0.01) and without children (p=0.03). Most popular source of knowledge on self-medication was own experience (n=149; 59.1%) and pharmacists’ advice (n=148; 58.7%). TV commercials were considered as unimportant for most of respondents (54.3%). Young women (18-26 years) most often used Internet to search for information about OTC drugs (p=0.03), young male trusted own experience (p=0.03) and men from older age groups (p=0.04) advice of a pharmacist. Self-medication can characterized as prevalent in Poland. People with lower levels of education used OTC medicines less often and therefore might benefit from stronger support of professionals.
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