Prevalence and Reasons of Self-Medication in Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Document Type: Review article

Authors

1 Department of Health Services Management, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Tabriz Health Services Management Research Center, Health Management and Safety Promotion Research Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Dezful, Iran

4 Department of Health and Community Medicine, Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Dezful, Iran

5 Dental and Periodental Research Centre, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

6 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran;and Department of Health Economics, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background: Given the importance of having valid information about the prevalence and reasons of self-medication among pregnant women for preventing self-medication during this period, this study aimed to systematically review and perform a meta-analysis on the prevalence and reasons of self-medication during pregnancy.Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted in 2018 to estimate the overall self-medication prevalence based on the database sources PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, MagIran, IranMedex and SID. Required data were collected using keywords: medication, self-medication, over-the-counter, non-prescription, prevalence, etiology, and occurrence and pregnant. Descriptive and cross-sectional studies in English and Persian languages were included. There was no time limitation for search. R software was applied for meta-analysis. Random-effects model was applied to estimate the self-medication prevalence with 95% confidence interval. Q statistics and I2 were used to measure the heterogeneity.Results: Out of 490 retrieved articles, finally 13 studies were included in meta-analysis, 6 studies of which reported the cause of self-medication. The overall estimated prevalence of self-medication based on the random effect model was 32% (95% CI, 22% - 44%). The most important reasons of self-medication were previous experience of the disease. The most important group of disease in which patients self-medicated was anemia. Also, the most important group of medication was herbal.Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the prevalence of self-medication among pregnant women was relatively high and required effective interventions to reduce and prevent self-medication among this group. Providing required information and raising awareness about complications resulting from self-medication, in particular herbal medicines and dietary supplements, should be taken into account.

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