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Change in parental knowledge, attitudes and practice of antibiotic use after a national intervention programme.

Ivanovska, V., Angelovska, B., Dijk, L. van, Zdravkovska, M., Leufkens, H.G., Mantel-Teeuwisse, A.K. Change in parental knowledge, attitudes and practice of antibiotic use after a national intervention programme. European Journal of Public Health: 2018, 28(4), 724-729
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Background
Nation-wide multifaceted interventions to improve antibiotic use were undertaken in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in September 2014.

Object
This study aimed to assess the parental knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics, and self-medication practices in children, and evaluate the impact of interventions on these parameters.

Methods
Pre–post-intervention surveys were conducted in May 2014–16 in three administrative regions in the country. Data were collected by interviewing parents of children younger than 15 years of age through a questionnaire. The analysis of knowledge, attitudes and antibiotic use involved descriptive quantitative statistics. The effects of interventions were assessed by a logistic and linear regression analysis.

Results
Data from 1203 interviewees showed that 80% of parents knew that antibiotics could kill bacteria, while 40% believed antibiotics could kill viruses. One third of parents expressed potential dissatisfaction with doctors who would not agree with them on antibiotic use. More parents received information about not taking antibiotics unnecessarily after the interventions, but the rates decreased one year later. At baseline, 20% of the parents and 10% of the children who received antibiotics in previous year, took them without prescriptions. Parental selfmedication rates did not change over time, while children rates decreased only in 2015.

Conclusion
The insignificant and short-term changes in knowledge, attitudes and self-medication demonstrate that interventions need to be implemented for a longer period of time, at a large scale, with active health providers’ engagement, and accompanied by inspections to promote appropriate use of antibiotics and discourage self-medication. (aut. ref.)