Using interactive family science shows to improve public knowledge on antibiotic resistance: does it work?

PLoS One. 2014 Aug 27;9(8):e104556. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104556. eCollection 2014.


The public plays an important role in controlling the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. A large British survey showed that there is still public misunderstanding about microbes and antibiotics. e-Bug, a European DG Sanco sponsored project, aims to disseminate a school antibiotic and hygiene educational pack and website across Europe. Interactive science shows based on the e-Bug educational packs were developed to take the key health and hygiene messages from the e-Bug school resources to families. The science show was evaluated to assess public knowledge and understanding of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance pre and post intervention. An interactive stall comprised of a 3×2 m backing stand with background information, an interactive activity and discussions with a trained demonstrator was on display at a family holiday resort. Pre-piloted knowledge questionnaires were completed by parents and children pre and post intervention. Adult (≥19 years) baseline knowledge regarding antibiotics and antibiotic resistance was high although significant knowledge improvement was observed where baseline knowledge was low. Children's (5-11 years) knowledge around antibiotics and antibiotic resistance was significantly improved for all questions. The science show can be viewed as a success in improving parents' and children's knowledge of antibiotic use thereby highlighting the importance of educating the public through interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Education / organization & administration
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Parents
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grant support

This work was supported by internal funding from Public Health England and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.