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Knowledge, understanding, and attitudes towards antibiotic use, prescription advice and antibiotic resistance among parents in Greater Manchester.

Poolay Mootien, Cynthia




Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is an important global public health issue. Understanding how much the public knows and understands about ABR is imperative to enable the development of more efficient ways to improve antibiotic stewardship (the collective effort to improve how antibiotics are prescribed by healthcare providers and used by patients). This study aimed to obtain an in-depth understanding of the current knowledge, attitudes, and practices of parents living in GM, regarding antibiotic use, prescription advice, and antibiotic resistance.

A mixed-methods explanatory study was conducted with parents of children aged between 3 months and 6 years. Phase 1 involved a cross-sectional survey (n=120), followed by telephone interviews (n=12) in phase 2. Phase 3 involved online creative workshops with parents (n=4), and the final phase (phase 4) involved further interviews with parents from deprived areas, to augment the findings from phase 2.

Findings from all 4 phases show that parents have certain misconceptions, particularly regarding the consequences of misusing antibiotics.
Phase 1: Participants were unaware that the improper use of these drugs can lead to worsening of an illness (36%); 33% were not aware that taking antibiotics can often have side-effects; 21.7% wrongly believed that bacteria cause the common cold; and 15.0% reported they would request antibiotics for recurrent respiratory infection.
Phase 2: Mistrust in GPs was reported by many parents, who felt uninformed and unheard after medical consultations. Behavioural inconsistencies and emotional disengagement were observed among parents who considered themselves as being responsible antibiotic users.
Phase 3: Parents wanted an intervention that empowered them to discuss treatment options with their GPs. Participants also wanted to see more positive messaging and relatable information in an intervention that might aim to improve antibiotic stewardship among parents.
Phase 4: Participants, from a generally non-UK born sample were unaware of ABR and misunderstandings were present regarding the responsible use of antibiotics. Findings from this phase confirmed that some of the findings obtained from phase 2.

There is significant scope to improve parents’ knowledge, understanding, and attitudes towards antibiotic use and ABR. The lack of understanding and awareness vis-à-vis certain aspects of ABR and antibiotic use, has the potential to translate into misinformation passed onto the next generation of antibiotic stewards (children). Parents perceive that GP consultations involving antibiotic prescribing could be improved. Understanding parents’ expectations, perspectives, and misconceptions is key to improving knowledge and raising awareness on antibiotics, as well as changing practice around antibiotic use. These findings could inform local and national policies and future research. They could also aid in future training for GPs, regarding precautionary prescribing and improving communication with parents about antibiotic practice.


Poolay Mootien, C. (2024). Knowledge, understanding, and attitudes towards antibiotic use, prescription advice and antibiotic resistance among parents in Greater Manchester. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 29, 2024
Keywords Antibiotics, ABR, Antibiotic Resistence, Health Promotion, Public Health, Behaviour Change
Award Date Jun 28, 2024


This file is under embargo until Jul 29, 2024 due to copyright reasons.

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