Is the message getting through? An update on public understanding of antibiotics from a nationwide household survey in England, 2017
PHE ePoster Library. Cooper E. Sep 12, 2019; 274404; 204
Mrs. Emily Cooper
Mrs. Emily Cooper
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Abstract
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Abstract Background
Since 2003, Public Health England (PHE) has commissioned a series of surveys to understand the general public's knowledge and use of antibiotics. The 2017 national household survey asked adults about their awareness/perceptions of antibiotics, expectations and experiences during recent episodes of illness.Design and Methodology: Ipsos MORI Capibus face-to-face computer-assisted survey of randomly-selected households in England implemented in January 2017 (n=1,691) and April 2017 (n=592). Analyses were weighted to obtain estimates representative of the population.
Results
There were 2,283 adult respondents, including 777 parents of children <5 years old. Most respondents (83%) recognized that antibiotics target bacterial infections, but 35% thought that antibiotics target viral infections. 13% thought that a course of antibiotics did not need to be completed. 15% of respondents (73/503) reported having leftovers after a course of antibiotics and 33% (24/72) kept these for possible future use. Youngest (15-24 years), oldest (65+ years) and black, Asian and ethnic minority adults were less knowledgeable about antibiotics. 43% of those ill in the last year said that they did not receive any advice/information about antibiotics. Those accessing primary care were more likely to expect an antibiotic prescription for their own respiratory/flu symptoms (38%, 98/256) than for the same symptoms in a young child (27%, 41/152).
Conclusions
Public understanding of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance in England continues to be a combination of correct basic knowledge and less prevalent but persistent and potentially harmful misunderstanding. The latter could be addressed through more active provision of advice/information during primary care consultations. External funding details
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