Factors affecting the public awareness and behavior on antibiotic use

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2018 Aug;37(8):1547-1552. doi: 10.1007/s10096-018-3283-x. Epub 2018 May 18.


To evaluate the effects of demographic and perceptive factors on the knowledge, perception, and behavior regarding antibiotic use in the general public, we conducted three serial telephone interview surveys in 2010, 2012, and 2015. Computer-aided telephone interview was conducted, with a predetermined quota stratified by sex, age, and geographic location. Respondents who answered correctly to four or more questions were categorized as having better knowledge. A total of 3013 respondents participated. Better knowledge was associated with age < 60 years (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.04-1.82), college education (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.26-1.97), healthcare-related occupation or education (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.52-3.36), and media exposure (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.02-1.54). In contrast, correct antibiotic use behavior was associated with male sex (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.27-1.73), older age (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.34-1.99), and being married (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04-1.52), along with better knowledge (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.19-1.71). However, multifaceted analysis indicated that better knowledge was associated with correct behavior in all subgroups. Other demographic factors were associated only in respondents with poor knowledge. Various factors other than knowledge on antibiotics, many of them traditionally underappreciated, affect antibiotic use behavior.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Awareness; Behavior; Survey.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Public Opinion*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents