Exploring the Global Landscape of Self-Medication Among Students: Trends, Risks, and Recommendations for Safe and Responsible Practices

Main Article Content

Yasser Bustanji https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1315-0609
Jalal Taneera https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3341-1063
Afnan Bargooth
Ahmad Abuhelwa https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4182-065X
Ala Issa https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9748-8804
Waseem El-Huneidi https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1580-2589
Eman Abu-Gharbieh https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5972-0681
Karem H. Alzoubi https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2808-5099
Mohammad A.Y. Alqudah https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7210-7964
Ahmed Alhusban https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1105-0620
Islam Hamad https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4326-8624
MoezAlIslam E. FARIS https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7970-2616
Mohammad H. Semreen https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0169-7538

Keywords

self-medication, university students, medical students, bibliometric analysis, Anxiety, depression, antibiotics, analgesics, alcohol, adolescents, awareness

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of self-medication practices among students by conducting a bibliometric analysis of the available scientific literature. This research highlights the importance of promoting safe and responsible healthcare behaviors among students. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in the Scopus database to retrieve all peer-reviewed English articles and reviews published from 1968 onwards. The retrieved documents were analyzed to identify publication trends, citation counts, top journals, geographical distribution, and emerging research themes. Results: The findings indicate a significant increase in published literature about student self-medication over the past fifteen years. However, it was observed that the citation count for these documents was lower than expected, suggesting a need for increased attention toward this critical topic. The analysis also identified several hot topics in student self-medication, including the misuse of over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and psychoactive substances. The inappropriate use of antibiotics and the self-medication of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, were also identified as significant problems. Conclusions and recommendations: Self-medication among students is a complex and critical issue that requires immediate attention. This study highlights the urgent need for greater awareness and education regarding responsible self-medication practices among students. New policies, interventions, and strategies should be developed to address malpractices, misconceptions, and harmful practices related to self-medication. Educational institutions and health authorities should play a crucial role in providing students with mental health resources and support services. Collaborative efforts among healthcare providers, universities, and policymakers are required to consider this issue as public health priority, establish counseling centers, organize stress management and mental health workshops and develop comprehensive programs to control risks associated with student self-medication.

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References

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