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Comparison of practice and attitude of self-treatment in rural and urban population in Uttarakhand, India: A comparative study

Vasantha Kalyani, Manisha Bisht, Surabhi Thapliyal, Kusum K Rohilla.

Background: Self-medication is a common practice and a potential threat for people worldwide.

Aims and Objectives: The main aim of this study was to compare practice and attitude of rural and urban people regarding self-treatment with medicine in various districts of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.

Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey-based comparative study. Using systematic random sampling technique, 500 rural and 500 urban participants were selected. Tools for self-treatment assessment were structured questionnaire including sociodemographic datasheet, practice questionnaire, and attitude Likert scale.

Results: Participants in both groups were heterogeneous in nature and were comparable. The three most commonly used medicines for self-treatment by rural people were analgesic, antibiotics followed by antacids and for urban people drugs were analgesic, antacids followed by antibiotics, respectively. Significant difference (0.05*) was found in the overall attitude of rural and urban people as well. Rural people showed a neutral attitude, whereas urban people showed favorable attitude for use of medicine for self-treatment.

Conclusion: Variations in culture and mindset of self-treatment in rural and urban people were seen. Most participants used analgesic, antibiotics, and antacids medication for self-treatment in both groups. Consulting a doctor, reviewing the package insert, and consulting a pharmacist were the most popular ways to know the dosage of medicinal items. Medical representatives and community pharmacies were the most common source of medicines for rural people and urban population, respectively.

Key words: Rural; Urban, Self-treatment; Practice of self-treatment; Attitude of self-treatment

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