Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding antibiotic use and self-medication: a cross-sectional study among Australian Chinese migrants

Jie Hu, Zhiqiang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Self-medication of antibiotics can promote antibiotic resistance. This study aimed to investigate the practice of self-medication with antibiotics to treat URTIs in Australian Chinese migrants and to understand whether their knowledge of antibiotics, attitudes to and perceptions of antibiotic use was associated with self-medication of antibiotics.

Methods: Four hundred and seventeen participants were recruited in an online health survey involving a bilingual questionnaire through several Australian-based Chinese social websites. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to explore the associations between self-medication and antibiotic-related knowledge, attitudes, and perception factors.

Results: Around 24.2% of Chinese migrants used antibiotics without medical consultation for URTIs. Almost 70% of Chinese migrants indicated that they would stop taking antibiotics when symptoms improved; around 61% would use leftover antibiotics if they had similar symptoms. Furthermore, participants who would use leftover antibiotics (OR: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.7–5.6), or who would take an incomplete course of antibiotics (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0–3.1) were more likely to report self-medication with antibiotics. Participants who perceived it was appropriate to use antibiotics for fever, cough and sore throat were at a greater risk of self-medication with antibiotics for URTIs.

Conclusion: A considerable number of Chinese migrants used antibiotics for URTIs without medical consultation in Australia. Misperceptions about antibiotic use were significantly associated with the practice of self-medicating in this group. The findings provided important information for developing culturally responsive interventions for the correct use of antibiotics in Australian Chinese communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalHealthcare Infection
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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