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The knowledge and expectations of parents about the role of antibiotic treatment in upper respiratory tract infection--a survey among parents attending the primary physician with their sick child

The knowledge and expectations of parents about the role of antibiotic treatment in upper respiratory tract infection--a survey among parents attending the primary physician with their sick child

Bmc Family Practice 4: 20

Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are common. The etiologic factor is usually viral, but many physicians prescribe antibiotics. We aimed to evaluate parents' expectations of and knowledge about the role of antibiotics in childhood URTI. The study was conducted in thirteen primary care pediatric clinics. Parents of children aged 3 months to 6 years who attended with URTI symptoms were included when it was the first attendance in the current illness. Questionnaire about the current illness, reasons for attending and expectations from the visit, knowledge about URTI was filled before the visit. In 122 visits the average age was 2.8 +/- 1.9 years. The main reasons for the visit were to avoid complications (81%) and to be examined (78%). Expected treatment was: cough suppressants (64%), anti-congestants (57%), paracetamol (56%), natural remedies (53%) and antibiotics (25%). In 28% the child had received antibiotics in past URTI. Only 37% thought that antibiotics would not help in URTI and 27% knew that URTI is a self-limited disease. 61% knew that URTI is a viral disease. Younger parental age and higher education were associated with lower expectations to receive antibiotics (p = 0.01, p < 0.005 respectively). While previous antibiotic treatment (p < 0.001), past perceived complications (p = 0.05) and the thought that antibiotics help in URTI (p < 0.001) were associated with a greater expectation for antibiotics. A quarter of the parents attending the physician with URTI are expecting to get antibiotics. Predictors were lower education, older parental age, receiving antibiotics in the past and the belief that antibiotics help in URTI.

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Accession: 050662820

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PMID: 14700470

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-4-20

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