Patient knowledge and perception of antibiotics: A questionnaire survey in primary care

Rikke Vognbjerg Sydenham, Malene Plejdrup Hansen, Gitte Bruun Lauridsen, Mette Sejr Sørensen, Anders Munck, Dorte Ejg Jarbøl

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearchpeer-review


About one third of consultations involving ARIs result in the prescribing of antibiotics. Studies have demonstrated that general practitioners’ (GPs) decisions about antibiotic prescriptions are influenced by patients’ expectations. Few studies have focused on patient knowledge of antibiotics.
This study aimed to study patient knowledge and perceptions of antibiotic treatment and to explore possible associations between patient gender, age, and educational level and accurate knowledge of antibiotics.
As part of an Audit Project Odense project a questionnaire survey was conducted during winter 2014. Patients aged ≥18 years consulting their GP with symptoms of ARI were requested to fill in a questionnaire on knowledge and perception of antibiotic treatment. Socio-demographic information was obtained.
361 patients completed the questionnaire (response rate 64%). 75% recognized that antibiotics are effective against bacteria and not against virus. Overuse of antibiotics was acknowledged by 80% of respondents as an important factor in the development of resistant bacteria. Female gender was the only patient characteristic significantly associated with accurate knowledge. Respondents having received antibiotic treatment within the previous two years tended to believe that antibiotics were effective against virus, OR 2.3.
Our study found that patients were generally well-informed about antibiotics and aware of antibiotic overuse as an important factor in the development of resistant bacteria.
Points for discussion:
To what extent does patient knowledge and perception on antibiotics influence the GP when considering prescribing antibiotics?
How can knowledge of patient perception of ARIs and antibiotics be helpful in the consultation room?
Translated title of the contributionPatienters viden og opfattelse af antibiotika: En spørgeskemaundersøgelse i almen praksis
Original languageEnglish
Publication date17. Jun 2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 17. Jun 2015

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