Full paper| By Shea Jiun Choo et. al

A cross-sectional study on public belief, knowledge and practice towards antibiotic use in the state of Perak, Malaysia

Introduction:

Inappropriate use of antibiotics has led to antimicrobial resistance, a major public health challenge worldwide. This study aimed to explore beliefs, knowledge, and practice on antibiotic use among general public.


Methodology:

Cross-sectional study was conducted at 13 hospitals and 44 primary health clinics in Perak from May to July 2017. Adults above 18 years, literate, and had experience in antibiotics consumption were selected through sequential sampling method. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire which included the three study domains i.e. belief, knowledge and practice. The questionnaire was pilot on 30 subjects.

Results:

Out of 2850 distributed questionnaires, 2773 returned and 2632 were included for analysis. Mean age of the respondents was 39.7 ± 14.5 years old. Most respondents were female (58.6%), Malay (74.7%) and underwent upper secondary school (45.6%). Mean score were generated for each domain with belief: 5.87 ± 3.00 (total score: 12), knowledge: 15.82 ± 3.85 (total score: 24), practice: 6.91 ± 2.07 (total score: 12). In the belief domain, 63.2% of respondents believed that antibiotics would help them to recover faster. In the knowledge domain, 52.7% of respondents inappropriately thought that antibiotics could work on viral infections. In the practice domain, 70% of respondents expected doctors to prescribe antibiotics if suffered from symptoms.

Conclusion:

Majority of the respondents expect doctors to prescribe antibiotics for their illness, and most believes that antibiotics can speed up recovery of illness. Lack of awareness on antibiotic resistance was found to be a significant factor associated with inappropriate antibiotic use.