Factors influencing inappropriate use of antibiotics: Findings from a nationwide survey of the general public in Malaysia

Wong, Li Ping and Alias, Haridah and Husin, Suraya Amir and Ali, Zawaniah Brukan and Sim, Benedict and Ponnampalavanar, Sasheela Sri La Sri (2021) Factors influencing inappropriate use of antibiotics: Findings from a nationwide survey of the general public in Malaysia. PLoS ONE, 16 (10). ISSN 1932-6203, DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0258698.

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Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global public health. Misuse of antibiotics has never been investigated on a nationwide scale among the general public in Malaysia. This study aimed to identify sociodemographic and knowledge factors associated with inappropriate use of antibiotics in the Malaysian context to inform the development of interventions to mitigate inappropriate antibiotic use. We conducted computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) between June 2019 and December 2019. The telephone numbers were randomly generated from the electronic residential telephone directory of all 13 states and 3 Federal Territories in Malaysia. The survey consisted of questions on demographics, knowledge about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance (53 items), and practices of antibiotic use (16 questions). A total of 864 complete responses were received. Pronounced erroneous beliefs that antibiotics are effective against infections caused by viruses and that antibiotics can speed up recovery from coughs and colds were evident. The proportions that were aware of the terms `drug resistance', `antimicrobial resistance', and `superbugs' were low. The mean and standard deviation (SD) for the antibiotic knowledge score was 23.7 (SD +/- 9.25; range 0 to 50) out of a possible score of 52. Regarding antibiotic practices, a considerable proportion reported non-adherence to recommended doses. The mean and SD for the antibiotic practices score was 37.9 (SD +/- 6.5; range 17 to 47) out of a possible score of 48. Participants who earned an average monthly household income of MYR1001-3000 (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.04-2.50) were more likely to report higher antibiotic practice scores than those with <MYR1000. Participants with tertiary education attainment reported higher antibiotic practice scores (OR 1.99; 95%CI 1.02-3.91) than those with primary school and below. High antibiotic knowledge scores (OR 3.94; 95% CI 2.71-5.73) were associated with higher antibiotic practice scores. Inappropriate antibiotic use is influenced by demographics and antibiotic knowledge. This study calls for education interventions focused on the lower socio-economic status population to increase awareness and to promote appropriate antibiotic use.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bacterial-resistance;Knowledge;Attitudes
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2022 06:01
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 06:01
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/35331

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