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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


NAVES, Janeth de Oliveira Silva; CASTRO, Lia Lusitana Cardozo de; CARVALHO, Christine Maria Soares de  and  MERCHAN-HAMANN, Edgar. Self-medication: a qualitative approach of its motivations. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2010, vol.15, suppl.1, pp.1751-1762. ISSN 1678-4561.

A qualitative research was realized to verify the occurrence and motivations for self-medication and the quality of the information rendered by pharmacies. We conducted 3 focus groups with 25 patients of a reference public health service for STD treatment in Brasília, Brazil. We used the critical discourse analysis to interpret the data obtained during interviews. The analysis revealed that self-medication was a common practice among participants, motivated mainly by discontentment with the long waiting period and the quality of the public health services. Other motivations included: previous experience with medications, advice from friends and family members and the search for an anonymous service provided at pharmacies due to embarrassment and inadequate care environment at health care services. Care provided at pharmacies was also considered unsatisfactory. Viewed essentially as a commercial establishment, pharmacies have become, yet, an easy accessible alternative. Most of participants perceived the pharmacists as ordinary employees seeking only to increase profits. The results suggest a need to improve access to health care services, as well as to render it more humane. Community pharmacies should to be turned into health establishments to participate in health education and orientation for rational drugs use.

Keywords : Self-medication; Focus groups; Discourse analysis; Pharmacies.

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