Journal of Biomedicine and Biosensors


Prevalence and Factors Associated with Self-Medication Among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Care at Lira Regional Referral Hospital

  • By Felix Oleke - 16 Dec 2022
  • Journal of Biomedicine and Biosensors, Volume: 2, Issue: 2, Pages: 60 - 76
  • Received: 10.5.2022; Accepted: 30.5.2022; First Online: 30.6.2022


Background: Self-medication is defined as the use of manufactured or home-made drugs without medical prescriptions seeking to treat symptoms or self-diagnosed health conditions. It is universal challenge with an estimated 83.1% to 90% of pregnant women globally practicing it. SM can cause a serious harm to baby including developmental delays, fetal toxicities, intellectual disabilities, birth defects and miscarriage and harming the mother herself. SM practice during pregnancy has been increasing and found to be high in many regions of the world especially in developing countries. This objective therefore is to assess the prevalence and factors associated with self-medication among pregnant mothers at LRRH. Aims: To assess the prevalence and factors associated with SM among pregnant women at LRRH. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study that used quantitative approach using a semi-structured interview questionnaire among 175 pregnant women was employed in determining the prevalence and factors associated with SM among pregnant women at Lira Regional Referral Hospital, the data was then entered, coded, cleaned and analyzed using SPSS version 23.0. Result: This study considered 175 participants where response rate was 100%. The prevalence of SM was found to be significantly high 87(49.7%) of the total participants. The leading indication for SM was body ache (34.1%) and malaria (33.3%) whereas analgesics (53.4%), anti-malaria (15.9%) drugs and cold and cough remedies (15.9%) were the classes of drug always self-medicated with. The major reasons given for SM were transport problem (30.3%), delayed patients service at facility/ (20.2%) and anticipated drug stockout at health facility (16.9%) meanwhile prior experience with the drug (AOR:51.84,95%CI:12.50-214.96, p:<0.001), and history of SM in previous pregnancy (AOR:10.04,95%CI:1.90-53.27, p:0.007) were the found to be the only factors associated with self-medication during pregnancy. Conclusion: In this study, self-medication is high among pregnant women at LRRH (49.7%), and the predictors for self-medication during pregnancy are prior experience with the drug and history of self-medication in previous pregnancy. More emphasis needs to be put on creation of awareness of the dangers of self-medication during pregnancy in order to reduce the vice.

Keywords: Self-medication, Associated factors, Prevalence