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Treatment-seeking behavior of patients attending department of dermatology in a tertiary care hospital and their impact on disease

 People's College of Medial Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Animesh >Saxena,
OPD No. 8, C-Block Peoples Hospital, Bhanpur, Bhopal - 462 037, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_123_21

Context: There has been a sharp rise in skin diseases in the past few decades part of which is definitely due to the extensive use of steroids for nearly every skin disorder which remains the major reason among others for this steep rise. Self-medication and unqualified doctors have played a pivotal role in the current menace, and due to a lack of strict laws, every self-proclaimed person with no legal degree in dermatology becomes a skin specialist and start his own skin clinic. The study was therefore conducted to determine the preferred source of treatment among patients with various skin diseases; to determine influencing factors among these patients in choosing the source of treatment; and to determine the impact outcome of medicine on skin diseases based on source of medication. Materials and Methods: A designed pro forma consisting of eight questions was prepared and provided to the patients who have taken any medication previously for the current disease. Results: In the current study, 300 patients were enrolled, out of which 264 had taken modern (allopathic) medicine and 36 took complementary and alternative medicine. One hundred and twenty-six patients (47.7%) took treatment directly from medical store, 85 patients (32.2%) consulted unqualified doctors, 40 (15.2%) visited qualified doctors (nondermatologists), and only 13 patients (4.9%) consulted a qualified dermatologist. Most of the patients who were advised treatment by medical store worsened, followed by unregistered doctors, qualified doctors, and least by dermatologist. Conclusion: Although modern medicine has gained considerable importance for the management of dermatological conditions, still the majority of patients seek care from medical store, unregistered doctors, and MBBS doctors. Care seeking from dermatologist is <5%. Self-medication and quackery significantly affect the outcome as symptoms worsened in the majority of patients.

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