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Original Article

J App Pharm Sci. 2014; 4(5): 012-020

What do Brazilian community pharmacists know about self-medication for minor illnesses? A pilot study in the northeast of brazil

Chiara Erminia da Rocha, Mônica Lima Bispo, Thaciana dos Santos Alcantara, Giselle de Carvalho Brito, Maria Jésia Vieira, Divaldo Pereira de Lyra Lyra Júnior.


The benefits of self-medication are undeniable and include a decrease in the number of medical visits. In this work, among other objectives, it sought to describe the knowledge of a group of community pharmacists about minor illness and self-medication. This study was quantitative and qualitative, and took place between June and August 2012 in two groups of chain community pharmacies. All community pharmacists were interviewed face-to-face. Thirty-five community pharmacist completed the interview. Eighty-eight percent of the respondents were women and were aged above 25 years. A total of 88.8% said that they knew the definition of minor illness. Pharmacists that having studied management of minor illness as an undergraduate from private universities had more exposure to minor illness manager subject (p = 0.0043). Regarding the definition of minor illness, pharmacists cited specific parameters, such as duration of disease, and treatment or possible pharmacist intervention for symptoms, which showed a way to distinguish a minor symptom from a chronic disease. Pharmacists included detailed comments on particular aspects of the self-medication practice or highlighted medicine-specific characteristics. Findings indicated that community pharmacists have poor knowledge about minor illness that could explain the passive attitudes towards self-medication.

Key words: Community pharmacist, self-medication, minor illness, knowledge, attitude.

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