The public's perspectives on antibiotic resistance and abuse among Chinese in Hong Kong
Article first published online: 22 AUG 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 241–249, March 2013
How to Cite
Wun, Y. T., Lam, T. P., Lam, K. F., Ho, P. L. and Yung, W. H. R. (2013), The public's perspectives on antibiotic resistance and abuse among Chinese in Hong Kong. Pharmacoepidem. Drug Safe., 22: 241–249. doi: 10.1002/pds.3339
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 22 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 27 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 14 DEC 2011
- Research Fund for the Control of Infectious Diseases of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. Grant Number: 09080852
- antibiotic resistance;
Antibiotic abuse and resistance impose a continuing threat to the world. The awareness of antibiotic resistance is said to be inversely associated with the prevalence of abuse. We examined the public's perspectives on antibiotic resistance in our study of the public's knowledge, attitude and practice with antibiotics.
The study adopted a combined qualitative and quantitative approach. Eight focus groups were conducted with 56 participants purposively selected from community centres and of different socio-economic strata. The qualitative data collected were used to construct a questionnaire for the telephone survey which surveyed 2471 adults from randomly selected residential numbers.
The focus-group participants were unclear about the nature and causes of antibiotic resistance; they also attributed antibiotic abuse to the doctors’ responsibility. Of the questionnaire respondents, 9.0% had not heard of the term, 7.8% had ever acquired non-prescribed antibiotics, 6.6% had ever kept the leftover and only 69.8% had always finished the full course of antibiotics. Furthermore, 77.3 % and 75.1%, respectively, agreed that the purchase of antibiotics without prescription and incomplete courses of antibiotics would lead to undesirable consequences. Of the respondents who had heard about antibiotic resistance, 38.7% agreed that they could help the prevention of resistance. They were more likely to complete the full course of antibiotics and less likely to keep the leftovers.
The public in general was not aware of the causes of, nor their role and capability in preventing, antibiotic resistance. Future campaigns and health education should empower everyone to restrain antibiotic resistance. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.