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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2013, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (5): 305-313.doi: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013048

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A study on drug utilization and prescription habits of physicians in a government homeopathic hospital in West Bengal, India

Munmun Koleya, Subhranil Sahaa, Jogendra Singh Aryaa, Gurudev Choubeya, Shubhamoy Ghoshb, Rajib PurkaitbRamkumar Mondalb, Bapi Kundub, Rajarshi Mukherjeeb   

  1. a. Clinical Research Unit (Homeopathy), Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Siliguri 734006,Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
    b. Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, WestBengal University of Health Sciences, Howrah 711104, West Bengal, India
  • Received:2013-04-03 Accepted:2013-07-18 Online:2013-09-10 Published:2013-09-15

Objective

Improper prescribing habits and inappropriate drug use lead to serious health and economic consequences. This study was undertaken to evaluate drug utilization services and prescription patterns of homeopathic doctors in a government homeopathic teaching hospital in India.


Methods

No standardized homeopathic drug use indicators are available. The researchers used indicators for health care setting (drug availability)-modified prescribing indicators and patient care indicators, based on World Health Organization’s core drug use indicators. A cross-sectional, prospective, institutional, observational study of 2-month duration with record analysis was conducted on 600 patients visiting seven different outpatient departments (OPDs) for the first time at Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Howrah, West Bengal, India, using the developed indicators.


Results

Overall availability of prescribed drugs was quite satisfactory (92.28%). Centesimal potencies accounted for the majority of prescriptions (74.76%). There was a poor record of diagnosis (39.17%) except in the OPDs of Gynecology and Obstetrics (68.48%, P < 0.01) and Dermatology (64.58%, P < 0.01). Records of investigational findings and ongoing therapies, if any, were also poor except OPDs of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and Pediatrics. Structure of prescriptions was maintained satisfactorily in all the OPDs. Though tendency of using ‘individualized homeopathy’ predominated, there also existed the use of ‘polypharmacy’. Mean consultation time was 5.9 min. Labeling was extremely poor and is an area needing improvement. The prescriptions were highly legible.


Conclusion

This was a preliminary study, conducted for the first time in homeopathy using newly developed indicators that yield meaningful results. Further studies are necessary in order to evaluate the different factors involved and to plan future interventions to improve the quality of care in healthcare settings.

Key words: Homeopathy, Prescriptions, Drug, Durg utilization, Hospital

Figure 1

Flowchart of the study2.3 Questionnaire development and testingNo universally accepted standardized health care facility indicators, prescribing indicators and patient care indicators were available in homeopathy. Five experts with adequate research expertise (Munmun Koley, Subhranil Saha, Shubhamoy Ghosh, Jogendra Singh Arya and Gurudev Choubey) were involved in the development of the trial questionnaire through four iterative Delphi rounds, provided with a yes/no Likert scale, based on WHO-designed core drug indicators[5]."

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