Knowledge, Beliefs and Behaviours Regarding the Adverse Effects of Medicines in an Omani Population : Cross-sectional survey

Jimmy Jose, Beena Jimmy, Moza N. S. Al-Mamari, Thuraiya S. N. Al-Hadrami, Halima M. Al-Zadjali


Objectives: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, beliefs and behaviours of an Omani population with regards to the adverse effects of medicines. Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted between February and June 2012. A 17-item questionnaire was designed to assess three aspects: knowledge, beliefs and behaviours related to medicine safety. A total of 740 questionnaires were distributed in three representative governorates of Oman. Median total scores for the three sections were estimated. Associations with participants’ demographic variables and medication histories were also assessed. Results: A total of 618 participants completed the survey (response rate: 83.5%). Many participants (46.4%) believed that side-effects occurred only with high doses of medication and over 30% believed that they did not occur at all with traditional and over-the-counter medicines. The median total score was 19 (interquartile range: 6) out of a maximum of 30. Inadequate knowledge, incorrect beliefs and good behaviours were observed among the participants. There was a significant association between certain demographic parameters (age, educational qualification, history of chronic use of medicines and employment status) and median total scores. Participants reported obtaining additional information on medication safety from various sources, with doctors as the most widely used source. Conclusion: Inadequate knowledge and incorrect beliefs among this Omani population indicate a need for interventions to improve public knowledge and address misconceptions regarding medication safety. These interventions could be initiated on both an individual and public scale, with patient interactions by healthcare professionals and mass education activities targeting the larger population.


Knowledge; Beliefs; Behavior; Public Health; Drug Side Effects; Adverse Drug Reactions; Medication Adherence; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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