| RESEARCH ARTICLE
|Year : 2008 | Volume
| Issue : 6 | Page : 251-255
Prescribing knowledge and skills of final year medical students in Nigeria
KA Oshikoya1, JA Bello2, EO Ayorinde2
1 Department of Pharmacology, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos; Department of Paediatrics, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Pharmacology, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Objectives: To assess the knowledge of final year medical students in Nigeria, about good prescribing and the application of this knowledge to their prescribing skills.
Materials and Methods: Thirty four final year medical students of the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja, were interviewed with a structured questionnaire that assessed their knowledge on the principles of good prescribing. They were also requested to write a prescription, based on a paediatric clinical scenario of malaria and upper respiratory tract infection. The prescription was used to assess their prescribing skills.
Results: Thirty one (91.18%) students knew that rational prescribing involved prescribing correct dosage of an appropriate medicine formulation. Factors considered important by the students to prescribe rationally were: Potential benefit : risk ratio of a medicine - 33 (97.06%); good knowledge of pharmacology - 29 (85.29%) and pathophysiology of the disease to be treated - 24 (70.59%); and safety of an alternative medicine to be used - 24 (70.59%). An average of 3.71 medicines was prescribed for a child suspected to have malaria. Antimalarials (38.24%) and paracetamol (20%) were the most frequently prescribed medicines. The name and signature of the prescriber were available in 51.61% and 58.06% prescriptions, respectively. Less than 50% prescriptions had the name, case file number, age and gender of the patient.
Conclusion: The final year medical students of LASUCOM would require theoretical and practical teaching of principles of rational prescribing to improve their prescribing knowledge and skills.
K A Oshikoya
Department of Pharmacology, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos; Department of Paediatrics, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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