“Antibiotic resistance-awareness efforts might backfire for some”

“The results of a survey conducted by English researchers suggest that public information campaigns about unnecessary antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could, for some, produce an unintended effect: increased demand for antibiotics.

The findings come in a paper today in Eurosurveillance that describes an online survey completed by more than 2,000 adult residents of the United Kingdom in 2015. The survey found that nearly 40% of respondents would ask their doctor for antibiotics if they experienced influenza-like symptoms for 5 days. This attitude was strongly associated with a belief that antibiotics help flu-like symptoms, a lack of awareness about AMR, and having requested antibiotics for similar symptoms within the previous 12 months.

But the survey also found that nearly 40% of a subgroup of respondents with little knowledge of AMR would be more likely to request antibiotics after being presented with information about the dangers of unnecessary antibiotic use. In addition, more than 40% of those with low AMR awareness said they would be more likely to request antibiotics if their child experienced flu-like symptoms for 5 days.”

Read more: CIDRAP


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