Validation of the parental knowledge and attitude towards antibiotic usage and resistance among children in Tetovo, the Republic of Macedonia
Objective: This study sought to explore the knowledge and attitudes of parents on the use of antibiotics among children that could serve as baseline data and provide further insight in planning and developing strategies for local health education purposes.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey involving 500 parents who attended community pharmacies in Tetovo, Republic of Macedonia, was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire from October 2013 to January 2014. The questionnaire included demographics, knowledge and attitude statements of parents towards antibiotics. The data collected were analyzed using SPSS program, version 19.0. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data. In all statistical analyses, a p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Nearly 40% of the parents demonstrated a moderate level of knowledge. The highest correct response in the knowledge part was the awareness of parents in using antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection (61.2%). However, most of the parents did not know that antibiotics cannot cure viral infections (59.6%). About 48.2% of the parents were aware of the antibiotic resistance as s result of the overuse. Concerning attitudes, 60.8% reported keeping any leftover antibiotics, 77.0% agreed that taking antibiotics when having cold symptoms could help their children recover faster, while, 74.6% wrongly agreed with the statement of appropriate use of antibiotics for prophylaxis’ measure.
Conclusions: This study has documented the main areas that merit attention when parental knowledge on antibiotic use for their children is the concern, reflecting in some inappropriate attitudes as well. The findings highlight the need to devise effective interventions to decrease misconceptions regarding antibiotic use and to increase parents’ awareness for the risks of inappropriate use of antibiotics in children specifically and in the community at large.
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