Antibiotic Misuse Behaviours of Older People: Confirmation of the Factor Structure of the Antibiotic Use Questionnaire

Loni Schramm, Mitchell K. Byrne, Taylor Sweetnam

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Antibacterial resistance (AR) is responsible for steadily rising numbers of untreatable bacterial infections, most prevalently found in the older adult (OA) population due to age-related physical and cognitive deterioration, more frequent and long-lasting hospital visits, and reduced immunity. There are currently no established measures of antibiotic use behaviours for older adults, and theory-informed approaches to identifying the drivers of antibiotic use in older adults are lacking in the literature. The objective of this study was to identify predictors of antibiotic use and misuse in older adults using the Antibiotic Use Questionnaire (AUQ), a measure informed by the factors of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB): attitudes and beliefs, social norms, perceived behavioural control, behaviour, and a covariate—knowledge. A measure of social desirability was included, and participants scoring highly were excluded to control for social desirability bias. Confirmatory Factor Analyses and regression analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses in a cross-sectional, anonymous survey. A total of 211 participants completed the survey, 47 of which were excluded due to incompletion and high social desirability scores (≥5). Results of the factor analysis confirmed that some (but not all) factors from previous research in the general population were confirmed in the OA sample. No factors were found to be significant predictors of antibiotic use behaviour. Several suggestions for the variance in results from that of the first study are suggested, including challenges with meeting requirement for statistical power. The paper concludes that further research is required to determine the validity of the AUQ in an older adult population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number718
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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