Background. There is a lack of information regarding self-medication in the pediatric population in our environment, Objectives. To determinate the incidence of self-medication in children in Catalonia through a multi-centric study. Methods. During the month of November of 1998, 1416 questionnaires were sent to 59 pediatricians in Catalonia. Also, questionnaires regarding self-medication or 'medication administered without consulting a health professional' were distributed in different pediatricians' offices in Catalonia during the first two weeks of December of 1998, The questionnaires were anonymous, had 21 questions, and were given to the parents by the nurse or the administrative personnel of the clinic. Statistical analysis was performed at the laboratory of Biostatistics of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Results. Seven-hundred and four questionnaires corresponding to 33 primary care pediatricians were considered valid. Eighty-five percent of the families admitted administering medication to their children without consulting a health professional 'occasionally'; 1% did it 'usually'. Antipyretics and analgesics were the most commonly administered medications. Antibiotics were self-prescribed in 9% of the times. The use of vitamins and other health-care products (such as royal jelly and homeophatic treatments) was also common. Self-medication increased with the child's age, more significantly for children older than 10 years of age. There was no statistically significant relationship between self-medication and parental education, number of children or existence of chronic or recurrent diseases. Conclusions. Self-medication is very frequent in the pediatric population in Catalonia. One out of every three children recieves medication without any recommendation from the primary pediatrician, even tough the pediatrician is easily accessible for consultation. Antipyretics and analgesics should be allowed as self-medication drugs, provided that the parents have a good health education. However, antibiotics should be administered only under prescription.
|Translated title of the contribution||Multicentric study of self-medication in the pediatric population in Catalonia|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|