Evaluation of The Rational Drug Use (RDU) Literacy Among Undergraduate Students

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Teeraporn Sadira Supapaan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6887-8181
Bee Yean Low https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1841-0169
Claire Anderson https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5406-2296
Tuanthon Boonlue https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7930-0054
๋Jeerisuda Khumseekeaw https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1930-5977
Chonladda Pitchayajittipong https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6003-7145
Prasittichai Poonphol


Rational drug use (RDU), literacy, undergraduate students


Background: Irrational drug usage is a global concern. WHO recommended a strategy for integrating education and awareness on the rational use of medicine into general education programs. Objective: To evaluate the rational drug use (RDU) literacy among the undergraduate students of Ubon Ratchathani University. Methods:  This mixed-methods research consists of a quantitative cross-sectional study with a self-administered RDU literacy questionnaire and a qualitative in-depth interview study. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics were used in the quantitative study. Thematic analysis was used in the qualitative study. Results: Students who participated in this study included 640 undergraduate students. Approximately half of the participants never studied a RDU-related course (50.94%). Although the findings revealed that most of the participants (73.13%) had good RDU literacy, many participants had less frequency of the right options on some questions (e.g., advertisement of health products). Health sciences students were 2.8 times more likely than non-health sciences students to have good RDU literacy (AOR=2.835, 95% CI: 1.752-4.587). Four main themes were derived from the qualitative study: 1. Definition of RDU; 2. Facilitators; 3. Concerns; 4. RDU country. Conclusion: While the majority of participants demonstrated good RDU literacy, some actually engaged in irrational drug use. Activities promoting RDU literacy among undergraduate students, particularly in faculties other than health sciences, are still required.

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