Attitudes Toward and Use of Over-The-Counter Medications among Teenagers: Evidence from an Italian Study

  •  Cinzia Panero    
  •  Luca Persico    


In recent years, the consumption of Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs has increased. Previous studies have pointed out that the OTC medications are misused and abused by teenagers, who often show poor knowledge of the toxicity of these drugs.

The paper aims to analyze the use of OTCs by teenagers and the factors that influence their consumption.

This paper is based on quantitative data. A web-based survey was administered to the students of an Italian high school. The questionnaire included queries on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the students with regard to OTCs. Since teenagers are influenced by their families, their approach to healthcare was also investigated.

An exploratory factor analysis was conducted in order to determine the key factors influencing their attitudes toward the use of medications. Finally, a cluster analysis was run in order to identify different behavioral segments.

Results show that four factors (tradition, social communication, self-management, and caution) influence the attitudes and behaviors of teenagers toward OTC medicines. The research also highlighted that attitudes toward the use of OTC medicines varied among the respondents, who were grouped into three different clusters: their presence implies the need for targeted educational programs, involving teenagers and their families.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-719X
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7203
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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