RESEARCH ARTICLE


Public Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Antibiotics Use and Resistance in Baghdad, Iraq: A Survey Conducted in Outpatient Department of University Teaching Hospital



Berq J. Hadi Al-Yasseri1, *, Nibras A. Hussain1
1 College of Medicine, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq


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Creative Commons License
© 2019 Al-Yasseri and Hussain.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Al-Nahrain University/ College of Medicine, Baghdad, Iraq; E-mail: dr_berq@yahoo.com


Abstract

Introduction:

Improper antibiotics utilization permits the emergence of resistant organisms. The World Health Organization has highlighted the role of people in preventing and controlling antibiotics resistance.

Objectives:

To investigate public knowledge and attitude towards antibiotics use and resistance in Baghdad, Iraq; and to identify deficiencies in these areas that need to be addressed.

Methods:

This was a cross-sectional study with an analytic element involving 500 participants attending outpatient department of university teaching hospital in Baghdad during the period of February through May, 2017. A questionnaire-form paper was used for data collection, including questions about sociodemographic characteristics; sources of information about antibiotics; knowledge about antibiotics indications, resistance, and side effects; and attitudes towards antibiotics self-medication.

Results:

People who knew antibiotics have no role in managing viral infection, coughs/colds, and pain/inflammation represented 42.4%, 20.0%, and 44.6% of study sample; respectively. Low proportions of participants realized the necessity to complete antibiotics course, 38.2%. Concerning attitude; those who were against keeping leftover antibiotics in home, taking antibiotics for cold/flu, and taking them for fever without consulting doctor were 37.2%, 42.2% and 46.4%; respectively. Higher education showed significant association with good knowledge (p<0.001) and appropriate attitude (p<0.001). The presence of family member with medical profession exhibited significant association with higher knowledge (p=0.011). Better knowledge was a predictor of better attitude (p<0.001).

Conclusion:

Public awareness about antibiotic resistance remains largely unrecognized in Baghdad. Many participants did not have sufficient knowledge about indications for antibiotics use and consequences of their over/misuse. Inappropriate attitude towards antibiotic self-medication was also identified largely in this study.

Keywords : Antibiotics Misuse , Public Knowledge , Attitudes, Bacterial Resistance , Self-Medication , Survey .