Studies of medicines use by consumers
Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia
One of the main aims of medicines’ use studies is to ensure rational use of them. Different types of medicines use studies exist – there are studies of medicines supply, consumption, behavior of medicines users and prescribers (advisers). The aim of the current study is to find common patterns or problems regarding use of medicines, as well as the factors influencing medicines’ use patterns, and also apply the findings to the sociological theory. The study was implemented by making an insight into reviews of medicines’ use and theoretical literature. A range of analysis-levels is available, depending on the scope of a study. Common patterns or problems of medicines’ use within these levels have been pointed out by the studies – non-compliance to the medicines’ information, self-medication with prescription medicines, polypharmacy, unsafe use of herbal medicines, overuse of injections, use of non-essential combination medicines, and use of needlessly expensive medicines. The studies suggest several determinants of medicines use – demographic and socio-economic factors, socio-psychological factors, health status, cultural factors, and information channels. From the point of view of the sociological theory it is possible to classify all these factors according to the notions of “micro”, “macro”, “objectivity” and “subjectivity”, as well as by different perspectives of rationality – objective rationality (medical perspective) and subjective rationality (user’s perspective).
Key words: medicines / rational use of medicines / medicines’ use determinants
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012
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