Background: Recently, many scientists including bacteriologists have begun to focus on social aspects of antibiotic management especially the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) among the general population regarding antibiotic use. However, relatively few works have published on the relationship between KAP and medical education. In this study, we analyze the present status of Chinese medical (MS)- and non-medical (NS) students' KAP on the use of antibiotics, and examine the influence of Chinese medical curriculum on the appropriate usage of antibiotics among medical students.
Methods: In this study, 2500 students from 3 universities (including one medical university) in Northeastern China participate in the questionnaire survey on students' knowledge, attitude and practice toward antibiotic usage. Wilcoxon rank sum test and Chi square test were used to analyze questionnaire-related discrete and categorical variables respectively, in order to assess the impact of the medical curriculum on students' KAP towards antibiotics.
Results: 2088 (83.5%) respondents (MS-1236 and NS-852) were considered valid for analysis. The level of knowledge of MS on the proper use of antibiotics was significantly higher than that of NS (p < 0.0001). However, based on their responses on actual practice, MS were found to rely on antibiotics more than NS (p < 0.0001). Moreover, the knowledge and attitude of MS towards antibiotic use improved with the increase in grade with discriminate use of antibiotics concurrently escalating during the same period.
Conclusions: This study indicates that Chinese medical curriculum significantly improves students' knowledge on antibiotics and raises their attention on antibiotic resistance that may result from indiscriminate use of antibiotics. The study also shows an excessive use of antibiotics especially among the more senior medical students, signifying a deficiency of antibiotics usage instruction in their curriculum. This might explain why there are frequent abuses of antibiotics in both hospital and community settings from a certain angle.