How does the general public view antibiotic use in China? Result from a cross-sectional survey
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Background Resistance to antibiotics is a major threat to global health and general public play a significant role in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Objective The present study aimed to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practice of the general public towards antibiotic use in China. Setting Randomly selected parks in three cities of western, central and eastern China: Xi’an, Changsha, and Nanjing. Method A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a sample of 1400 residents, from January to June 2015. Main outcome measures Knowledge, attitudes and practices scores toward self-medication with antibiotics and compliance with antibiotic regimens. Results The response rate was 86.0% (n = 1204). Only 192 (19.5%) respondents gained a score of 3 or above, and the maximum score of 4, reflecting poor knowledge towards antibiotics. Just over half (54.8%) of respondents incorrectly believed antibiotics were effective against viral infections and only one-third (34.3%) knew that antibiotics were not anti-inflammatories. Nearly half of the respondents (49.0%) had changed the dosage when taking antibiotics, 35.6% switched to another class, 33.4% had not finished the full treatment course and over 60.0% kept leftover antibiotics for future use. Almost half of the respondents (45.7%) stated they had used antimicrobials during the last 6 months and 64.4% of them had self-medicated. Conclusion This study identified serious misconceptions regarding antibiotics use in the Chinese general public. Effective interventions should be developed to provide practical and appropriate advice to effect behaviour change within this population.
KeywordsAntibiotic Attitudes and practice China General public Knowledge
The “Young Talent Support Plan” of Xi’an Jiaotong University; the China Medical Board Open Competition Program (14–196).
Conflicts of interest
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