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Table 2 Knowledge and perception about self-medication practice among respondents (n = 866)

From: Prevalence, knowledge and perception of self-medication practice among undergraduate healthcare students

  SA A U D SD
Knowledge questiona
 1 Self-medication is defined as “the taking of drugs, herbs or home remedies on one's own initiative, or on the advice of another person, without consulting a doctor or pharmacist.” 557 (64.3%) 277 (32.0%) 7 (0.8%) 10 (1.2%) 15 (1.7%)
 2 Using an old prescription to treat a recurring condition is self-medication 318 (36.7%) 411 (47.5%) 71 (8.2%) 50 (5.8%) 16 (1.8%)
 3 Using left-over medications from a prior properly diagnosed illness to treat a recurrent one is self-medication 303 (35.0%) 403 (46.5%) 79 (9.1%) 65 (7.5%) 16 (1.8%)
 4 A physician’s prescription is necessary before the purchase of any medication 329 (38.0%) 294 (33.9) 70 (8.1) 132 (15.2) 41 (4.7%)
 5 It is possible to correctly treat illnesses without the physician’s prescription 59 (6.8%) 415 (47.9%) 159 (18.4%) 151 (17.4%) 82 (9.5%)
 6 Using prescription only medications without the doctor’s prescription can cause complications 310 (35.8%) 417 (48.2%) 71 (8.2%) 48 (5.5%) 20 (2.3%)
 7 Self-medication can lead to drug dependence and adverse drug reaction 343 (39.6%) 403 (46.5%) 76 (8.8%) 29 (3.3%) 15 (1.7%)
 8 Self-medication can cause pathogen resistance 356 (41.1%) 374 (43.2%) 80 (9.2%) 36 (4.2%) 20 (2.3%)
Cut-off score Remark Self-medication No Self-medication    
 < 80 Poor knowledge 223 (57.6%) 164 (42.4%)    
 ≥ 80 Good knowledge 250 (52.2%) 229 (47.8%)    
   χ2 = 2.547 p-value = 0.111    
Perception questionb
 1 The use of medications without the physician’s prescription is safe 22 (2.5%) 46 (5.3%) 121 (14.0%) 401 (46.3%) 276 (31.9%)
 2 The use of left-over medication from friends and family is safe 20 (2.3%) 28 (3.2%) 65 (7.5%) 373 (43.1) 380 (43.9%)
 3 Self-medication cannot cause serious health hazards 48 (5.5%) 88 (10.2%) 83 (9.6%) 315 (36.4%) 332 (38.3%)
Cut-off score Remark Self-medication No Self-medication    
 < 80 Poor perception 155 (55.0) 127 (45.0)    
 ≥ 80 Good perception 318 (54.5) 266 (45.5)    
   χ2 = 0.020 p-value = 0.887    
  1. aMaximum obtainable score = 40; %individual score = score obtained by an individual ÷ by total obtainable score × 100. Strongly agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) = 4, Undecided (U) = 3, Disagree (D) = 2, Strongly disagree (SD) = 1
  2. bMaximum obtainable score = 15; %individual score = score obtained by an individual ÷ by total obtainable score × 100. Strongly agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) = 4, Undecided (U) = 3, Disagree (D) = 2, Strongly disagree (SD) = 1