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Original Article

IJMDC. 2022; 6(1): 35-39

Use of antibiotics among the general public: a survey-based study to assess the knowledge and attitude of the Saudis

Arwa Saleh Alhuwireni, Kholoud Abdullah Alamri, Shehana Thamer Alrasheed, Gada Ishaq Aloraini, Alanoud Saad Alshammary, Noor Mohammed Alswaji.


Background: Using antibiotics without prescription has been reported among the public in different countries due to poor/lack of knowledge about the possible outcomes and self-medication. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the level of knowledge attitude among the Saudi public toward the use of antibiotics.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a closed-ended validated questionnaire created online using Google Forms. The link was sent to the participants through social media and emails. All adults having a history of at least one antibiotic exposure in 12 months were included in this study. Data were collected and then analyzed using SPSS version 19. Descriptive statistics along with comparisons measured by Chi-square tests were conducted and explained.
Results: A total of 366 male and female participants participated in this study, most of the participants were female (n = 267), and the majority were aged 18-30 years (n = 278). Both males and females believed that every antibiotic has its unique role against specific infections. Their knowledge regarding antibiotics being effective against bacteria was also satisfactory. Male participants tend to use antibiotics after asking friends/family, bought antibiotics from pharmacies without prescription, and kept antibiotics in their homes for future use more than females with a significant difference (p = 0.022, 0.021, 0.010, respectively).
Conclusion: This study reported that participants' overall knowledge regarding the use of antibiotics is satisfactory. Females had better knowledge than males regarding antibiotics, but there was no significant comparison among the age groups.

Key words: Antibiotics, attitude, knowledge, self-medications, Saudi Arabia.

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