Self-medication and its associated factors in Amdanga block of West Bengal





Self-Medication, Side effects, Rural, West Bengal

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Original Article



Background: The WHO defines the use of medications without prior medical consultation regarding indication, dosage and duration of treatment as self-medication. The practice is a global problem. Aims and Objectives: The study was conducted to describe the care seeking behavior of rural self-medicators living in Amdanga Block of West Bengal and to assess the belief in medicines by the self-medicators. Material & Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted by interviewing with a pretested semi-structured questionnaire on 665 self-medicators out of 1740 adults who were interviewed in 80 villages of Amdanga Block, West Bengal. A three-stage sampling method was used to reach the study population. A three month recall on self-medication practice was considered operationalizing the “pull” and “push” factors of self-medicators using a Pshycho-social framework. The variables were Socio-demographic factors, Care Seeking Behaviors, Health System related factors, Belief in Medicines according to the framework. Results: The prevalence of self-medication was found to be 38.2%. 63% of the study subjects were female and 56.3% had a literacy status of middle school and above. 54.4% relied on their old prescription for self-medication. 68.7% had an initial choice to consult a doctor but later self-medicated of whom 53.2% changed their choice due to monetary and transport issues while 38.5% thought of self-medication considering their disease was mild in nature. Conclusion: Awareness and health education can link rural subjects with primary care facility and right decisions on care can be provided.

How to Cite

Bhattacharyya S, Mitra S, Basu SN, Alagesan IR, Basu R. Self-medication and its associated factors in Amdanga block of West Bengal. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 31 [cited 2023 Feb. 6];34(4):495-500. Available from:


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