Self-medication practices among undergraduate nursing and midwifery students in Australia: a cross-sectional study

Allison Williams, Kimberley Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Self-medication is a global phenomenon and a major form of self-care. Objectives: To explore the self-medication practices of Australian nursing and midwifery students. Methods: An online questionnaire that examined the prevalence of self-medication, reasons for self-medication, medications consumed and medication knowledge was distributed to student nurses and midwives at one university in Victoria, Australia. Data were collected between February and May 2014. Results: Self-medication practices were reported in 91.7% (n = 110) of students. Students reported the main reason for self-medication was to play an active role in their health. The incidence of stress was high (n = 82, 74.5%), along with back pain (n = 84, 76.4%) and nearly half the students (n = 46, 42.2%) reported using antibiotics that were prescribed for a previous health problem. Conclusion: Self-medication practices were common in this student cohort and some results give rise to concern for the general wellbeing of our future nursing and midwifery workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-420
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016


  • medication safety
  • midwives
  • nursing
  • self-care
  • self-medication
  • students

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