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: 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:



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.


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.


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.


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).


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 .