Highland Medical Research Journal

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Sources of information on the use of medicines utilized by resident doctors in a tertiary health care facility in Nigeria

Abimbola Olowofela, Stephen A Ayinbuomwan, Ambrose O. Isah


Background: The use of quality information is an essential element in ensuring rational pharmacotherapy and limiting the harmful effects of medicines. This study evaluates the available sources of information utilized by doctors undergoing training in a tertiary health care facility.
Methods: The study was carried out at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria – a 730 bed tertiary health care facility. Questionnaires were distributed to 120 junior and senior resident doctors during a general meeting of residents. Information sought included their demographic characteristics, the sources of information, category and frequency of request, frequency of utilization of the hospital drug information services among others
Results: The response rate was 99.2 % (119/120) – 91 junior and 28 senior residents with a practice time of 0.17 to 17 years (median(IQR) 1.5(1-6) The most frequent sources of information utilized were Monthly Index of Medical Specialties MIMS 73(61.3%), British National Formulary BNF 59(49.6%) and senior colleagues 53(44.5%). The reasons for seeking information included clarification of dosage requirements 112(94.1%), adverse drug reactions 97(81.5%), precautions 95(79.8%) and indications for use 86(72.3%). Of interest, is the finding that 100(84.0%) of doctors had not visited the hospital's drug information centre. Twenty five percent (25.2%) of doctors admitted to significant influence of pharmaceutical detailers' gifts on their prescribing habits.
Conclusion: The study suggested a less than optimal utilization of objective information sources by doctors practicing in this low resource setting.

Keywords : Drug information services, Physicians, Nigeria

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