Automedicação na comunidade: um problema de saúde pública

Translated title of the contribution: Self-medication in the community: a public health issue

Odete Amaral, Nélio Veiga, Paula Nelas, Emília Coutinho, Cláudia Chaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Self-medication is an important public health issue and a challenge in several European countries, particularly in Portugal. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of self-medication in a sample of Portuguese adults in the Central and Northern Region of Portugal and to identify sociodemographic and health factors associated with self-medication. Participants and Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was performed. The sample consisted of 197 individuals from the community, central and northern Portugal, with a mean age of 38.26 ± 14.20 years and mostly female (65.0%). The data collection was accomplished through the application of a questionnaire, composed of questions of sociodemographic characterization, health context and issues related to selfmedication. Results: In the total sample, the prevalence of self-medication throughout life was 74.1% and in the last 6 months it was 59.9%. Lifelong self-medication was significantly associated with urban residence (p = 0.018). Self-medication in the last 6 months was positively correlated with age ≤25 years (OR = 3.69, 95% CI 1.04-12.14) and negatively with the residential area (rural OR = 0.36, 95% CI, 0.15-0.84). Conclusions: We observed a high prevalence of self-medication throughout the life and in the last 6 months among the northern and central communities of Portugal. Self-medication was associated with sociodemographic and health variables. The results of the present study provide evidence for the planning of interventions in the control of selfmedication in the community.
Translated title of the contributionSelf-medication in the community: a public health issue
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019


  • Adult
  • Self-medication
  • Epidemiology


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