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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126-131

The effect of an educational intervention on improving rational drug use

Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O O Odusanya
Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of an educational intervention on rational drug use amongst Primary Health Care workers in two Local Government Areas (LGAs), Mushin and Ikeja, in Lagos State. METHODS: Mushin was randomly selected as the intervention LGA while Ikeja was selected as the control L.G.A. A structured educational intervention designed to improve prescribing practices was carried in Mushin LGA for four weeks. Drug use indicators were measured before, at two weeks and three months post intervention. RESULTS: At baseline, most of the drug-use indicators in the intervention LGA were significantly worse (p < 0.05) than the control LGA. However, at the two-week evaluation, the educational programme achieved a significant reduction in the average number of drugs in the intervention LGA from 7.3+ 2.8 to 6.3 + 2.3 (p=0.000) compared to the control LGA where there was no significant change (from 4.9+ to 4.8+2.2, p=0.647). There was also a significant increase in the percentage of patients rationally managed from 18% to 30% (p=0.0005) in the intervention LGA unlike the control LGA (from 33% to 31%,p=0.693.). The rate of change in the average number of drugs prescribed was significantly higher in the intervention LGA (+14% )compared to the control LGA (+2%,p=0.0000). The improvements were not sustained at the three-month evaluation, as most of the indicators were similar to values obtained at the baseline. CONCLUSION: The intervention programme significantly improved rational drug use in the short-term period only. Other cost effective and sustainable intervention models for improving prescribing practices should be developed.

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