Self-medication and knowledge among pregnant women attending primary healthcare services in Malang, Indonesia: a cross-sectional study

Rizka Novia Atmadani, Owen Nkoka, Sendi Lia Yunita, Yi Hua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Self-medication with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs is an important public health concern, especially in the vulnerable population of pregnant women due to potential risks to both the mother and fetus. Few studies have studied how factors, such as knowledge, affect self-medication. This study investigated self-medication and its associated factors among pregnant women attending healthcare services in Malang, Indonesia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from July to September 2018 in five healthcare services. A self-administered questionnaire was used and the data were analyzed using multiple regression models. Results: Of 333 female participants, 39 (11.7%) used OTC medication. Women with a higher level of knowledge of OTC medication were more likely to self-medicate - adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03-4.46. Compared with those with less knowledge, pregnant women with more correct knowledge of the possible risk of self-medication were less likely to self-medicate - aOR = 0.29; 95% CI = 0.14-0.60. The effect of a higher level of knowledge of OTC medication was significant among women who had middle school and lower education - aOR = 8.18; 95% CI = 1.70-39.35. The effect of correct knowledge on the possible risks of self-medication was significant only among women with high school and higher education - aOR = 0.17; 95% CI = 0.07-0.42. Conclusion: Imparting specific knowledge of the potential risks of using non-prescribed medication during pregnancy may help pregnant women navigate and more safely manage their OTC use. We also suggest further collecting data from more healthcare services, such as hospitals, to obtain more findings generalizable to the Indonesian community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Pages (from-to)42
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 16 2020


  • Healthcare service
  • Indonesia
  • Knowledge
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Self Medication/statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Nonprescription Drugs/therapeutic use
  • Young Adult
  • Adolescent
  • Pregnant Women
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Primary Health Care
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prenatal Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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