Antibiotic use in paediatric respiratory infections: national public awareness and OTC practice survey: work in progress

Ivanovska, Verica and Angelovska, Bistra and Mantel-Teeuwisse, Aukje and van Dijk, Liset and Leufkens, Hubert and Zdravkovska, Milka (2016) Antibiotic use in paediatric respiratory infections: national public awareness and OTC practice survey: work in progress. In: Utrecht WHO Winter meeting 2016, 6-7 Jan 2016, Utrecht, the Netherlands. (Unpublished)

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Background Irrational use of antibiotics involves self medication, i.e. using antibiotics purchased from pharmacies without prescription, or left-over antibiotics from previous courses of treatment. By contrast to northern Europe, antibiotics can still be obtained over-the-counter (OTC) in eastern and southern Europe. Preliminary studies from the Republic of Macedonia indicate patents' misconceptions about appropriate applications and efficacy of antibiotics and their use without a prescription. In response, a large awareness-raising project on AMR was undertaken in late 2014, targeting the general population, pharmacists and doctors. Yet, relatively little is known about OTC use of antibiotics in children as most vulnerable segment of the population and their parents' awareness and behaviour in this respect. Our study aimed to assess parents' knowledge, attitudes and practice related to antibiotic use in Macedonia, focusing on URTI in children. We also intended to evaluate the effect of the AMR project on parents' awareness and practice. Methods: We conducted two questionnaire surveys in 2014 and 2015, based on the latest Eurobarometer instrument. Our study populations were parents of children up to 15 years of age in 3 administrative regions in Macedonia. Results: Still more than 40% of the parents believed that antibiotics could kill viruses, and 37-50% expected that common cold, cough and flu could improve with antibiotics. More parents were exposed to information about not taking antibiotics unnecessary by their doctors or media in 2015. Over 20% of parents still self-medicated themselves with antibiotics, but the percentage of self-medicated children reduced from 10 to 5.5%. Conclusions: We found mixed effects of the national project on AMR one year after its implementation. More detailed subgroup analyses and further measurements in time may be needed. Our results will inform future engagement efforts, to ensure project addresses key gaps in public knowledge and monitors closely OTC practices in pharmacies.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: Medical and Health Sciences > Health sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Medical Science
Depositing User: Verica Ivanovska
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2017 14:06
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2018 08:08

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