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Patient knowledge and perception of upper respiratory infections, antibiotic indications and resistance

Authors Frank A Filipetto, Danesh S Modi, Lucia Beck Weiss, Carman A Ciervo

Published 24 February 2008 Volume 2008:2 Pages 35—39

Frank A Filipetto, Danesh S Modi, Lucia Beck Weiss, Carman A Ciervo

University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Stratford, NJ, USA

Background and Objective: The misuse of antibiotics is not a harmless practice; rather, it can render future antibiotic treatments ineffective. This study looked to determine patient knowledge and perception of upper respiratory infections and indicated treatment.

Methods: The authors developed and administered a questionnaire to 98 patients visiting affiliated family medicine clinical sites. Participants were selected randomly, either while sitting in the waiting room, or after being seen by the clinician.

Results: While more than half the respondents recognized that treatment for colds did not require antibiotics, 70% erroneously indicated that viruses require antibiotic treatment. Additionally, almost 90% of respondents thought that yellow nasal discharge or coughing up yellow mucous requires antibiotic treatment. It was interesting to note that 95% of patients reported satisfaction when advised by their physician that antibiotic treatment wasn’t necessary, even if they initially thought they needed antibiotics.

Conclusions: Primary care providers have the greatest opportunity to curb inappropriate antibiotic use by both prescribing appropriately and educating their patients about proper antibiotic use when indicated.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance, antibiotic indications, upper respiratory infection, patient knowledge, patient education

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