DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20200259

Doctors'self-prescribing behavior: an exploratory study

Shakeel Ahmad Mir, Junaid Ahmed Ahangar, Danish Shakeel

Abstract


Background: Self-prescribing among doctors is common. But the General Medical Council (GMC) and American Medical Council recommend that doctors should avoid prescribing for themselves, and close family members. Self-prescribing can lead to serious consequences.  The present study reports the prevalence and pattern of self-prescribing among doctors working in various healthcare facilities of Kashmir Valley.

Methods: Pre-validated questionnaires were sent to 200 doctors selected by convenience sampling. Only 184 returned the completely filled questionnaires.

Results: At which 95.7% male doctors and 97.8% female doctors were self-prescribing. 100% doctors above the age of 40 years were self-prescribing. 100% post graduate students and consultants were practicing self-prescribing. 98.0% of those active as doctors for 1-5 years and 95.1% of those active for more than five years were self-prescribing. 60.7% doctors cited convenience, 40.4% time saving, 27.0% quick relief, 60.7% confidence, 14.6% low cost of treatment, and 15.7% crowd avoidance as a reason for self-prescribing. Major diseases self-treated were: headache (78.7%), respiratory symptoms (79.8%), fever (53.9%) and pain syndromes (31.5%). Major drugs used were: analgesics (80.9%), antipyretics (68.5%), antibiotics (58.4%), decongestants (49.4%) and antispasmodics (33.7%).

Conclusions: The observed prevalence of self-prescribing was very high in this study. The issue of self-prescribing is common and requires attention.


Keywords


Disease, Doctor, Drugs, Self-prescribing, Treatment

Full Text:

PDF

References


Krall EJ. Doctors who doctor self, family, and colleagues. Wisconsin Medi J (WMJ). 2008 Sep;107(6):279.

Montgomery AJ, Bradley C, Rochfort A, Panagopoulou E. A review of self-medication in physicians and medical students. Occup Medi. 2011 Jul 4;61(7):490-7.

The Medical Council of New Zealand. Doctors who provide care to themselves or those close to them. Available at: https://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/standards/1ea7db06d0/Statement-on-providing-care-to-yourself-and-those-close-to-you.pdf. Accessed 12th December 2019.

MOBERLY T. The perils of self-prescribing. BMJ. 2014;349(7987):14-5.

American Medical Association. Opinion 8.19 Self-treatment or treatment of immediate family members. AMA Code Medi Ethics. 1993 Jun.

Del Mar CB, Mitchell G, Kay M. Does legislation reduce harm to doctors who prescribe for themselves?. Austr Fam Physi. 2005 Jan;34(1-2):94-6.

Chambers RU, Belcher JO. Self-reported health care over the past 10 years: a survey of general practitioners. Br J Gen Pract. 1992 Apr 1;42(357):153-6.

Dusdieker LB, Murph JR, Murph WE, Dungy CI. Physicians treating their own children. Am J Dis Child. 1993 Feb 1;147(2):146-9.

Töyry S, Räsänen K, Seuri M, Aärimaa M, Juntunen J, Kujala S, et al. Increased personal medication use among Finnish physicians from 1986 to 1997. Br J Gen Pract. 2004 Jan 1;54(498):44-6.

Hem E, Stokke G, Tyssen R, Grønvold NT, Vaglum P, Ekeberg Ø. Self-prescribing among young Norwegian doctors: a nine-year follow-up study of a nationwide sample. BMC Medi. 2005 Dec;3(1):16.