Background: The general lack of knowledge about the suitable use of medicines is a problem related to education, which must be tackled from an early age, as part of the educational process of our young people. As a result, it will be crucial to instil good habits in self-care and treatment adherence from adolescence to achieve responsible use of the medicine in the middle and long term. The aim of this clinical study was to assess the impact of group educational interventions carried out by community pharmacists on the basic knowledge of the use of medicine, and beliefs regarding that medicines are harmful, addictive, and poisons, and that medicines are overused by doctors
Methods: Analytical, controlled, randomised cluster study focused on a sample of high school students from 17 provinces in Spain. The educational interventions were only delivered to students who belong to the intervention group. Two questionnaires were used to evaluate the impact of the interventions. The questionnaires were filled by the students of both intervention and control groups, on three occasions; at the beginning (baseline) and end of the interventions, and at three months.
Results: 15,711 students participated. The interaction between group and time resulted (p<0.05) in the three variables, obtaining a mean result of improvement over the intervention of 1.4 points in knowledge, 0.8 in overuse, and 0.3 in medicine risks. The intervention improved the knowledge of the students, and beliefs about medication regardless of the initial baseline level of the students.
Conclusion: It has been proved that educational interventions on the use of medicines in high school students are effective and feasible in improving both general knowledge and beliefs about overuse and dangerousness of medicines.