General practitioners' knowledge, attitude and prescribing of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections in Selangor, Malaysia: Findings and implications

Mohamed Azmi Hassali, Tengku Karmila Tengku Kamil, Faridah Aryani Md Yusof, Alian A. Alrasheedy, Zuraidah Mohd Yusoff, Fahad Saleem, Saleh Karamah Al-Tamimi, Zhi Yen Wong, Hisham Aljadhey, Brian Godman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Antibiotics are widely prescribed especially for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Their irrational use can increase costs and resistance. Aim: Assess knowledge, attitude and prescribing of antibiotics for URTIs in Selangor, Malaysia, using a cross-sectional survey among general practitioners (GPs) working in private clinics in 2011. Results: One hundred and thirty-nine physicians completed the questionnaire (response rate = 34.8%). 49.6% (n = 69) agreed antibiotics are helpful in treating URTIs, with most GPs agreeing antibiotics may reduce URTI duration and complications. The majority of GPs reported they felt patients expected antibiotics, with 36.7% (n = 51) agreeing patients would change doctors if they did not prescribe antibiotics and 21.6% (n = 30) agreeing when requested they prescribe antibiotics even if they believe them to be unnecessary. When assessed against six criteria, most GPs had a moderate level of knowledge of prescribing for URTIs. However, antibiotic prescriptions could be appreciably reduced. Conclusion: Further programs are needed to educate GPs and patients about antibiotics building on current initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-520
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Malaysia
  • antibiotics
  • education programs
  • irrational use of medicines
  • patients
  • physicians
  • respiratory tract infections

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