Introduction: Drug overuse is a serious problem for health care, and one of the biggest problems for the socio-economic well-being of different communities. The elderly tend to use more drugs due to changes in their cognitive and physiological factors. One of the best ways to evaluate the health level of elderly people is to evaluate their self-medication. This study was conducted to investigate self-medication among the elderly in Shahr-e-Kord.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 350 people older than 65 in Shahr-e-Kord in 2015. Sampling was done in two stages. In the first stage, the city of Shahr-e-Kord was divided into four areas using geographical maps. Eighty-eight people were selected from each area. The research instrument was a questionnaire called the Health Belief Model (HBM). The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20, the chi-squared test, the independent-samples t-test, and the Pearson correlation coefficient.
Results: No significant relationship was observed between the prevalence of self-medication with demographic variables and level of awareness. But there was a significant difference between sensitivity, perceived severity, and perceived barriers and educational level. There also was a significant difference between the perceived benefits and their income level. There also was a significant difference between the level of awareness, sensitivity, severity, benefits, and barriers of people with and without a history of self-medication (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Due to the adverse effects of self-medication and the high prevalence of this activity among the elderly, it is recommended that a training program be developed and implemented to change the knowledge and beliefs of the elderly about self-medication.