Public knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding antibiotic use in Kosovo
Background: Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a major public health challenge worldwide, caused primarily by the misuse of antibiotics. Antibiotic use is closely related to the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of a population.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices about antibiotic use among the general public in Kosovo.
Methods: A cross-sectional face-to-face survey was carried out with a sample of 811 randomly selected Kosovo residents. The methodology used for this survey was based on the European Commission Eurobarometer survey on antimicrobial resistance.
Results: More than half of respondents (58.7%) have used antibiotics during the past year. A quarter of respondents consumed antibiotics without a medical prescription. The most common reasons for usage were flu (23.8%), followed by sore throat (20.2%), cold (13%) and common cold (7.6%). 42.5% of respondents think that antibiotics are effective against viral infections. Almost half of respondents (46.7%) received information about the unnecessary use of antibiotics and 32.5% of them report having changed their views and behaviours after receiving this information. Health care workers were identified as the most trustworthy source of information on antibiotic use (67.2%).
Conclusion: These results provide quantitative baseline data on Kosovar knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding the use of antibiotic. These findings have potential to empower educational campaigns to promote the prudent use of antibiotics in both community and health care settings.
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