Background and importance Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of microorganisms to evade the effect of antibiotics. The use and abuse of these drugs has increased, as well as the number of resistant microorganisms capable of continuing their life cycle despite the effect of the drug. Rational use of antibiotics with health education are fundamental tools to avoid resistance problems.
Aim and objectives To assess the degree of knowledge of the population about the correct use of antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance and to detect irrational uses.
Material and methods A descriptive, observational, cross sectional study was conducted by patient surveys carried out on the European Day of the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (18 November 2019). 12 questions with yes/no answers and multi-responses were used. Leaflets from the World Health Organization on the prudent use of antibiotics were distributed and key concepts in antibiotic related health education were explained.
Results 39 patients, 24 women (61.5%), 12 of whom were <30 years old (30.76%), 21 were between 31 and 59 (53.84%) years and 6 were >60 (15.38%) years were studied. 23 (58.97%) had taken antibiotics in the last year; 33 (84.62%) had been recommended by healthcare professionals, 3 (7.7%) started on their own initiative and another 3 (7.7%) did not remember who recommended it. 19 (48.72%) acknowledged having antibiotics at home and 10 (25.64%) had bought them without a medical prescription. 28 (71.79%) stated that they knew the consequences of taking antibiotics incorrectly and 35 (89.74%) were aware that not all antibiotics have the same indication. However, 14 (35.90%) admitted to abandoning the treatment before finishing it if they experienced improvement. 25 (64.10%) claimed to have heard about antimicrobial resistance and when specifically asked about it, 1 (2.56%) answered that it was the ability of antibiotics to fight infection, 24 (61.54%) that it was the ability of microorganisms to resist the action of antibiotics and 14 (35.90%) were unaware of what it was. After a brief explanation about them, patients were asked if they believed that more general information about the appropriate use of antibiotics was necessary and 27 (69.23%) answered affirmatively.
Conclusion and relevance Many patients claim to know the indications and consequences of antibiotic misuse but they make reckless use of them. It is a priority to spend time doing interventions to achieve better results in the future, and thus reduce resistance rates and the possible associated problems that these entail.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest
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