Programme no. 461-P
Public Health
Patient knowledge and perception of antibiotics: A questionnaire survey in primary care
Rikke Vognbjerg Sydenham*1, Gitte Bruun Lauridsen2, Mette Sejr Sørensen3, Malene Plejdrup Hansen4, Anders Munck5, Dorte Ejg Jarbøl6
1Research Unit of General Practice,University of Southern Denmark,DK-5000 Odense C,Denmark, 2University of Southern Denmark,DK-5000 Odense C,Denmark, 3University of Southern Denmark,DK-5000 Odense C,Denmark, 4Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice,Bond University,Gold Coast,Australia, 5Research Unit of General Practice,University of Southern Denmark,DK-5000 Odense C,Denmark, 6Research Unit of General Practice,University of Southern Denmark,DK-5000 Odense C,Denmark
* = Presenting author
Objectives: This study aimed to study patient knowledge and perceptions of antibiotic treatment and further to explore possible associations between patient gender, age, and educational level and accurate knowledge of antibiotics and ARIs.
Background: Antibiotic resistance is an increasing public health concern. A total of 90% of antibiotics are prescribed in primary care, mainly for acute respiratory infections (ARIs). About one third of consultations involving ARIs result in the prescribing of antibiotics. Patients often overestimate the effectiveness of antibiotics for ARIs. Studies have demonstrated that general practitioners’ (GPs) decisions about antibiotic prescriptions are influenced by patients’ expectations. So far few studies have focused on patient knowledge of antibiotics.
Results: A total of 361 patients completed the questionnaire (response rate 64%). Three out of four recognized that antibiotics are effective against bacteria and not against virus. Overuse of antibiotics was acknowledged by 80% of respondents as an important factor in the development of resistant bacteria. Most respondents (97%) stated that they take antibiotics for the number of days prescribed by their doctor. Female gender was the only patient characteristic significantly associated with accurate knowledge. Respondents having received antibiotic treatment within the previous two years tended to believe that antibiotics were effective against virus, OR 2.3 (95% CI 1.3-4.1, p 0.005).
Material/Methods: As part of an Audit Project Odense project a questionnaire survey was conducted in Danish primary care during winter 2014. Patients aged ≥18 years consulting their GP with symptoms of ARI were requested to fill in a questionnaire on knowledge and perception of antibiotic treatment. Socio-demographic information was obtained.
Conclusion: Our study found that patients were generally well-informed about antibiotics and aware of antibiotic overuse as an important factor in the development of resistant bacteria. The study indicates that one third of patients who had received antibiotics during the previous two years believed that antibiotics were effective against viral infections.
Points for discussion:

To what extent does patient knowledge and perception on antibiotics influence the GP when considering prescribing antibiotics?

How can knowledge of patient perception of ARIs and antibiotics be helpful in the consultation room?

Are shared decision- making and delayed prescription relevant methods in primary care for reducing antibiotic consumption?