Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) use in primary health care centers in A’Seeb, Muscat: A clinical audit

Asma Al-Shidhani*, Naama Al-Rawahi, Abdulhakeem Al-Rawahi, Sathiya Murthi P

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (SciVal)


Objective: We sought to assess the trend of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use in primary health care institutions located in A’Seeb, a province in the capital city of Oman, Muscat. Additionally, we evaluated the relationship between a physician’s years of experience and the number of prescription issued, as well as the presence of risk factors and side effects in the patients who received these prescriptions. Method: A clinical audit was conducted in four primary health care centers in the Muscat region over a one-week period in April 2014. The target population included patients aged 18 years or over who attended one of the four health centers and were prescribed NSAIDs. Overall, 272 patients were recruited by systematic random sampling. The data were collected by two methods: direct face-to-face interviews and evaluations of the patient’s electronic medical file. The prescribing doctors were blind to the audit. The collected information included patients demographics, past and current medical history of related comorbidities, NSAID type, dose, duration and indications for use, concomitant warfarin or/and aspirin prescriptions, and co-prescription of gastroprotective agents. Results: In total, 15% of patients received an NSAID prescription: females were issued more prescriptions than males. The percentage of patients who received an NSAID prescription across the health centers ranged from 9% to 24%. The main reason for prescribing NSAIDs was musculoskeletal problems. The most frequently prescribed NSAID was ibuprofen. Sixteen percent of patients who received an NSAID prescription had a risk factor related to its use. The mean and median duration of the NSAID prescriptions of all types were 5.6 and 5.0 days, respectively. Physicians with a greater number of years experience prescribed more NSAIDs. Conclusion: Our study showed that the number of prescriptions of NSAIDs among various institutes varied, which could reflect the level of awareness concerning NSAID risks among the prescribing doctors. NSAIDs were prescribed for patients with comorbidities and patients with previously documented side effects without considering protective agents. Therefore, we suggest that the use of these medications is controlled, especially in high-risk populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-371
Number of pages6
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Anti-Inflammatory agents
  • Non-Steroidal
  • NSAIDs
  • Prescriptions
  • Side effects
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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