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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-99

Parents' knowledge, attitudes and practices on antibiotic use by children

Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed Saeed Zayed Al-Ayed
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Najran University, Najran
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_171_17

PMID: 31080389

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Background and Objective: Deficient knowledge on antibiotics causes misuse. This study aimed to investigate parents' knowledge, attitudes and practices on antibiotic use by children in various cities of Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out using a previously validated questionnaire. The questionnaire was translated into Arabic and hosted on Google Forms. Parents of children aged ≤14 years, whose contact details were available with the author, were contacted and requested to participate in the study. For those who agreed to participate, the Google Forms link was shared through WhatsApp between July and August 2016. The respondents were also encouraged to share the link with contacts who had children aged ≤14 years. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed. Results: In total, 544 parents responded from various cities of Saudi Arabia. Of these, about 75% were males (mean age = 49.9 years) and the majority (~68%) had a university degree and above. In the 6 months preceding the study, 431 respondents had taken their children to physicians. Of these, only 7.2% reported not being prescribed any antibiotics, whereas 66.8% were prescribed an oral antibiotic one or two times and 26% were more than three times. In terms of prescription, 373 respondents (68.6%) purchased antibiotics without a prescription, whereas 171 (31.4%) purchased it only after obtaining a prescription. However, only seven (1.3%) followed instructions regarding antibiotic usage, whereas 50% did not receive any advice from their doctor regarding use. All demographic characteristics, except gender and residence, were found to have significant effect on parents' knowledge on antibiotic use (P < 0.05). Conclusion: This study found that in various cities of Saudi Arabia, parents' knowledge, attitudes and practices on antibiotics for their children are poor. These findings highlight the need for parental education programs regarding antibiotic use and for implementing more stringent regulations on antibiotic prescription.

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