Knowledge, practice and attitudes regarding antibiotics use among Lebanese dentists
Objectives: Explore antibiotic use, assess conformity with evidence-practice guidelines, and describe knowledge and attitudinal factors among Lebanese dentists.
Methods: National cross-sectional telephonic survey, using a standardized questionnaire addressing demographic, educational and professional data, usual antibiotics prophylactic and curative prescription pattern and influential factors, knowledge concerning antibiotics use in selected patient-populations, and attitude regarding antimicrobial resistance. Analyses used descriptive statistics, and bivariate analysis to observe predictors of higher knowledge.
Results: the overall response rate for the study was around 21%. 322 dentists participated. On average, 17.51% of consultations resulted in antibiotic use; previous antibiotic experience mostly influenced prescriptions (81.3%). Referral of pregnant and lactating women and cardiac patients, when antibiotics are needed, was high (26.9%, 28.5% and 79.4%, respectively). Macrolides were the dominant first-line antibiotics in penicillin allergy (47.4%). Penicillins were most common for pregnant and lactating women. Penicillins (95.0%), 2g (63.9%), and 1 hour pre-procedure (34%) were the main components of prophylaxis for cardiac patients. Prophylactic and curative use varied widely; few dentists exhibited guideline-conform prescriptions. Mean knowledge scores of prophylaxis for cardiac and non-cardiac patients, and antibiotics’ side effects were predominantly poor (46.75±14.82, 39.21±33.09 and 20.27±18.77, respectively over 100). Practicing outside Beirut, undergraduate qualification in Lebanon, and post-graduate qualification predicted higher knowledge. 75.9% acknowledged the contribution of dentistry-based prescribing to antibiotic resistance and 94.7% knew at least one cause of resistance.
Conclusions: Dentists show positive attitude towards antimicrobial resistance. Yet, they lack uniformity in antibiotic stewardship. Poor knowledge and guideline-incongruent prophylactic and therapeutic prescribing are observed. Development of targeted interventions is needed to promote judicious antibiotic use within Lebanese dentistry.