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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

A review of self-medication in physicians and medical students

Auteur     A J Montgomery
Auteur     C Bradley
Auteur     A Rochfort
Auteur     E Panagopoulou
Résumé     BACKGROUND: There is a culture within medicine that doctors do not expect themselves or their colleagues to be sick. Thus, the associated complexities of self-diagnosis, self-referral and self-treatment among physicians are significant and may have repercussions for both their own health and, by implication, for the quality of care delivered to patients. AIMS: To collate what is known about the self-treatment behaviour of physicians and medical students. METHODS: The following databases were searched: PubMed, PsychInfo, EBSCO, Medline, BioMed central and Science Direct. Inclusion criteria specified research assessing self-treatment and self-medicating of prescription drugs among physicians and/or medical students. Only peer-reviewed English language empirical studies published between 1990 and 2009 were included. RESULTS: Twenty-seven studies were identified that fitted the inclusion criteria. Self-treatment and self-medicating was found to be a significant issue for both physicians and medical students. In 76% of studies, reported self-treatment was >50% (range: 12-99%). Overall, only one of two respondents was registered with a general practitioner or primary care physician (mean = 56%, range = 21-96). Deeper analysis of studies revealed that physicians believed it was appropriate to self-treat both acute and chronic conditions and that informal care paths were common within the medical profession. CONCLUSIONS: Self-treatment is strongly embedded within the culture of both physicians and medical students as an accepted way to enhance/buffer work performance. The authors believe that these complex self-directed care behaviours could be regarded as an occupational hazard for the medical profession.
Publication     Occupational Medicine (Oxford, England)
Date     Jul 4, 2011

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