Patients’ Knowledge, Attitude and Practice towards Painkillers: Tawau Hospital Experience
Pain management with analgaesics employs a multidisciplinary approach of clinicians towards patients. Nevertheless, preventing drug abuse and misuse in pain management is also an important goal. Understanding patients’ behaviour in the usage of painkillers may facilitate more effective communication and to educate them on the appropriate choice of painkillers. This study aimed to assess patients’ knowledge, attitude and practice towards painkillers. This was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study conducted from February to May 2016 among patients in Tawau Hospital. Respondents were selected via convenience sampling and interviewed based on a questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitude and practice towards painkillers. A total of 193 questionnaires with complete responses were analysed. Most of the respondents
(60.1%) obtained their painkillers from public facilities. Generally, they were very satisfied with the painkillers that they had used (36.7%). However, most of them (75.0%) did not know the name of the ingredient of the painkillers that they had taken before. They were also not aware of the side effects (73.1%) and allergic
reactions (64.8%) caused by painkillers. Most of the respondents (58.5%) had not been informed regarding the side effects of the painkillers by healthcare professionals. Only 25.0% of the respondents had been asked regarding their past medical history, past medication history and allergic history by healthcare professionals before a painkiller was recommended to them. This study highlights the need of continuous efforts by healthcare professionals to inform patients of the proper use and risks associated with painkillers to improve the quality use of painkillers.