Unfavorable healthcare experiences may increase the likelihood of caregivers to self-medicate

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Caregivers also need care. And now, researchers in Japan have found that the experience of being with a medical professional while caring for someone else influences their own medical choices.

In a study recently published in Social and administrative pharmaceutical researchresearchers at the University of Tsukuba found that caregivers were more likely to put personal care into their own hands through self-medication, especially when interactions with professionals were less positive.

The research team investigated the self-medication habits of family caregivers and statistically combined them with the results of a questionnaire on their experience of interprofessional care. This form of healthcare, which is advanced in Japan, offers a comprehensive approach that includes basically all professionals providing care, such as not only doctors and nurses, but also therapists and care managers. Caregivers naturally witness and participate in care. The study found that this could influence their own drug choices.

Community-based adult patients and caregivers in Japan interact with a variety of health care professionals, but manage their own balance of prescription drugs, OTCs, supplements, and more. This means that you need to have a good working relationship with your professional in order to obtain optimal trust and care. A survey of caregivers of chronically ill patients found that 34.4% self-medicated, but those who had a positive experience with interprofessional care were less likely to do so It is. “

Professor Shoichi Masumoto, lead author of the study

Study participants ranged in age from 40 to 74 and lived in an area approximately 100 km (~62 miles) northeast of central Tokyo. All of them had been enrolled in long-term care insurance for at least one year. These caregivers answered questions about their use of over-the-counter medications (including over-the-counter medications and supplements) over the past two weeks. They then completed a questionnaire about their experience providing care personally with a health care professional. The research team analyzed relationship data and found higher self-medication among people who reported less-than-desirable experiences with their health care professionals.

“In addition to caring for the health of their patients, interprofessional care providers need to monitor the health status of their caregivers and provide appropriate guidance on self-medication,” said Professor Masumoto. increase.

With the general aging of the population and the increasing number of family caregivers, caregiver health and support are becoming more important. Experiences in interprofessional medicine can directly influence healthcare choices and behaviors, so healthcare professionals need to be more intelligent and passionate in their interactions with them. Further research could examine other groups of caregivers, such as younger and older caregivers, in pursuit of optimal care for both caregivers and patients.

This study was funded by the Japan OTC Self-Medication Promotion Foundation (grant number R2-3A-002).


Journal reference:

Makoto Masumoto and others. (2023) Interprofessional care experiences of family caregivers and their association with self-medication: a cross-sectional study. Research on social and administrative pharmacy. doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2023.01.005.

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