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 OJEpi  Vol.9 No.1 , February 2019
Awareness and Practice of Proper Health Seeking Behaviour and Determinant of Self-Medication among Physicians and Nurses in a Tertiary Hospital in Southwest Nigeria
Abstract: Background: There is generally a lack of good health-seeking practices among health professionals due to a variety of factors, including the intensity of the medical practice itself. Doctors and nurses are perceived to have a good knowledge of ideal health-seeking behaviors and as such, it is important to determine the level of their awareness and estimate whether this knowledge is put into practice. This study, therefore, aimed to determine the level of awareness and practices of proper health-seeking behavior and to identify the factors responsible for self-medication among doctors and nurses in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted between April and may 2018 among 106 doctors and 164 nurses in a tertiary health facility in Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Southwestern Nigeria. A simple random sampling technique by balloting was performed from the list of doctors and nurses in the hospital to select doctors and nurses that participated in the study. A pretested semi-structured self-administered questionnaire was designed and used to collect data. The data were entered into the computer software and analyzed using SPSS version 20. P ≤ 0.05 was taken as significant. Result: Out of 106 doctors and 164 nurses recruited, only 102 doctors and 143 nurses filled the questionnaire completely and returned for analysis. One hundred and four respondents (42.4%) fall within the ages of 31 - 40 years with a male to female ratio of 1:1.23. Awareness of proper health seeking behavior among both doctors and nurses was high among the two groups with no statistically significant difference between them. Twenty-nine (28.0%) doctors compared with thirty-four (23.8%) nurses go for a regular medical check-up with no statistically significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.411). Out of these, 5 (17.2%) doctors and 7 (23.8%) nurses visit at an interval of less than 6 month (p = 0.736). There is a statistically significant difference in the number of doctors (60.8%) compared with nurses (41.3%) that have consulted a doctor in the last one year (p = 0.003). More than half (51.6%) of this consultation among doctors was over the phone whereas 64.4% of such among nurses were via clinic appointment (p = 0.008). More doctors (90.2%) comply with their treatment prescription from physicians compared with nurses (77.6%) (p = 0.010). More nurses compared with doctors self-medicate when ill [Doctor 61.8% (63), Nurses 78.3% (112)] (p = 0.005) and had also self-medicated in the last one year [Doctor 34.3% (35), Nurses 42.7% (61)] (p = 0.187). Decreasing age, decreasing years of experience, increasing working hours, lack of health insurance, fear of confidentiality and lack of satisfaction with health services are factors that significantly increased the likelihood of self-medication among doctors and nurses within the last one year. Conclusion: Awareness of proper health seeking behavior was high but this did not translate into proper health-seeking practices among doctors and nurses. There is apathy for regular medical check-up and self-medication was also high among this group of health workers. Decreasing age and years of experience, increasing working hours, lack of health insurance, fear of confidentiality and lack of satisfaction with health services were factors were identified to significantly increase the likelihood of self-medication.
Cite this paper: Adewoye, K. , Aremu, S. , Ipinnimo, T. , Salawu, I. , Orewole, T. and Bakare, A. (2019) Awareness and Practice of Proper Health Seeking Behaviour and Determinant of Self-Medication among Physicians and Nurses in a Tertiary Hospital in Southwest Nigeria. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 9, 36-49. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2019.91004.
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