Beliefs about antibiotics, perceptions of antimicrobial resistance, and antibiotic use: initial findings from a multi-country survey

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The International journal of pharmacy practice


OBJECTIVES: To examine public beliefs about antibiotics, AMR, and knowledge of antibiotic use, and how these relate to self-reported antibiotic use. METHODS: Two hundred and fifty participants from 23 countries completed a cross-sectional, online survey assessing beliefs about antibiotics and AMR, knowledge of antibiotics, and antibiotic use. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U tests and Spearman's ρ correlations were used to understand relationships between outcomes. KEY FINDINGS: Respondents generally viewed antibiotics positively, with particularly strong beliefs regarding their benefit (M = 16.48 out of 20, SD = 2.62) and few concerns regarding their harm (M = 3.98 out of 10, SD = 1.82). Greater benefit beliefs about antibiotics were associated with fewer concerns about their overuse (P < .0001) and harm (P < .0001). Stronger perceived importance of AMR was associated with greater beliefs about the benefits of antibiotics (P = .006), greater concerns about their overuse (P = .009), and increased knowledge of appropriate use (P = .006). Those who reported inappropriately using their last antibiotics had greater concerns about overuse (P = .12) and less knowledge regarding appropriate use (P = .015), compared to those who did not. CONCLUSIONS: Generally, the public tends to view antibiotics as having strong benefits and have few concerns about their harm, which may have implications for inappropriate use. These initial findings highlight beliefs that could be targeted in messages to reduce inappropriate demand for antibiotics.



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