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Gender Differences in Predictors of Self-Medication with Tranquillizers and Sleeping Pills: Results of the Population-Based Study in Serbia




Previous studies among the Serbian population concluded that the trend of self-medication with tranquillizers and sleeping pills requires deeper study. The objective is to identify gender differences in socio-demographic, health, and health service predictors of self-medication with tranquillizers and sleeping pills in a Serbian population of 15 years old and above.


This was a population-based, cross-sectional study. Data was extracted from the most recently available results of the Serbian National Health Survey of 2013. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine independent self-medication predictors.


The study included 14,623 participants, of which 51.77% were female. While 5.6% of the females reported self-medication with tranquillizers and sleeping pills, only 2.2% of males reported such practice (p<0.001). The presence of chronic disease, stress, and physical pain in the last month before the interview was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of self-medication with observed drugs in both genders. Age was the most significant socio-demographic predictor of self-medication in females, while in males it was unemployment. Women of 55–65 years of age showed a greater risk from self-medication with tranquillizers and sleeping pills in comparison to women of 15–24 years of age (aOR=4.75, 95% CI: 1.83–12.33). Unemployed males showed a greater tendency for such practice in comparison to employed (aOR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.19–2.91).


The findings highlighted predictors of self-medication with tranquillizers and sleeping pills and important differences between genders, which may contribute to the design of gender-sensitive surveillance, identification, and the prevention of such undesirable practices through evidence-based and appropriately tailored public health actions.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
4 volte all'anno
Argomenti della rivista:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine