Background The irrational use of medicines is likely to result in therapeutic failure, disease progression and the need for more aggressive treatments.1 One of the ways to alter such behaviour and increase public awareness about appropriate medication use is by designing and delivering a public health medicine awareness campaign.
Purpose This study aimed to evaluate the general public’s awareness of medication use and public health campaigns.
Material and methods This was a cross-sectional survey study. Participants were aged 18 years or over and able to speak Arabic or English. An online survey (Ranjabar’s questionnaire)2 was distributed from January to March 2017 to a random sample of 451 participants by email and social media via an internet link leading to a web-based survey platform in QuestionPro. Data were entered and analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 22.
Results Three-hundred and forty-seven participants (76% females, aged 18–85 years) were on a mean (SD) of two (1.86) regular medicines and 225 were on non-prescription medications. Seventy-one and 63 per cent of those surveyed consulted a doctor or a pharmacist, respectively, for advice about their medications. The participants were curious mainly about the side effects of treatment (79%), followed by drug interactions and contraindications (55%). Most participants agreed or strongly agreed that their medications were necessary to improve their condition (82%), prevent the progress of their condition (85%) and reduce the risk of complications (90%). Seventy-seven per cent of participants reported seeing a public health campaign previously. TV (58%) and Twitter (55%) were reported as the most appropriate tools to help in delivering a good public health campaign. Ninety-one per cent believed that a public health campaign can increase people’s awareness about their lifestyle and 73% declared that the use of medication should be part of a public health campaign.
Conclusion The findings are consistent with the literature which supports the need for a thorough medication awareness campaign.1
References and/or acknowledgements 1. Ranjbar M, Aslanpour Z, Kostrzewski A, Cooke AD. Public health campaigns and medicine use awareness: a systematic literature review. Health2017;9:1689–710.
2. Ranjbar M [internet]. Public health campaign for medicine awareness. England: National Health Service (NHS) Health Research Authority (HRA), 2015.
No conflict of interest.
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