A Cross Sectional Study of Public Knowledge and Attitude Towards Antibiotics in Putrajaya, Malaysia - Southern Med Review Vol 5 Issue 2 December 2012
(2012; 8 pages)


Objective: The objective of the study was to assess public knowledge and attitudes regarding antibiotic utilization in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among public attending a local hospital. The four-part questionnaire collected responses on demographic characteristics, recent use of antibiotics, knowledge and attitude statements. Cronbach’s alpha for knowledge and attitude statements were 0.68 and 0.74 respectively. Only questionnaires with complete responses were analysed. General linear modelling was used to identify demographic characteristics which contributed significantly to knowledge and attitude. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the adjusted odds ratios of obtaining an inappropriate response for each knowledge and attitude statement. The relationship between antibiotic knowledge and attitude was examined using Pearson’s correlation and correlation between related statements was performed using the Chi-square test. In all statistical analyses, a p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: There was positive correlation (p<0.001) between mean knowledge (6.07±2.52) and attitude scores (5.59±1.67). Highest education level (p<0.001) and healthcare-related occupation (p=0.001) contributed significantly to knowledge. Gender (p=0.010), race (p=0.005), highest education level (p<0.001), employment status (p=0.016) and healthcare-related occupation (p=0.005) contributed significantly to attitude. The differences in score between demographic groups were small. Misconceptions that antibiotics would work on both bacterial and viral infections were reported. Approximately three quarters of respondents expected antibiotics for treatment of coughs and colds. Close to two thirds (60%) believed that taking antibiotics would improve recovery. Several demographic groups were identified as "high risk" with respect to gaps in knowledge and attitude.

Conclusions: This study has identified important knowledge and attitude gaps as well as people "at risk". These findings would be useful in strategizing targeted antibiotic awareness campaigns and patient counselling.

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