ANTIBIOTICS USAGE HABITS OF ESTONIAN SPEAKING PEOPLE
Background: With the use of antibiotics since 1940s, the mortality rate from infectious diseases has decreased significantly, however with the massive use and production of antibiotics, new threats like antibiotic resistance have emerged.
Aim: The aim of the study was to examine antibiotics consumption habits of Estonian-speaking people.
Methods: The study was carried out in Connect environment Nov.2019 - Jan.2020, using web-based questionnaire (ethics committee approval 296/T-10, 16.09.2019). There were 498 respondents included in the study. χ2-test and Cramer’s V was used for statistical analysis.
Results: Almost half of the respondents (n=291) had used antibiotics more than five times and about fourth of the respondents up to five times during their lifetime. 205 persons used antibiotics on 482 cases during the previous year. Seven respondents had never used antibiotics. The antibiotics were used mostly for treating urinary tract infections, throat infections and pulmonary infections. 24 diagnosis were mentioned altogether.
Females have used more antibiotics during previous year (p=0.001) and also more females have used antibiotics more than five times during lifetime (p=0.001) compared to male respondents. Respondents with healthcare related education have used less antibiotics during previous year than others (p<0.000), but respondent group with higher education level has used more antibiotics compared to others (p=0.048). Respondents’ age or income did not affect the use of antibiotics.
Most respondents have acquired antibiotics by prescription, but there are people who had antibiotics left from previous prescriptions, who had acquired these from pharmacy without prescription, from abroad or from friends and family.
23.3% of respondents have not used the prescribed antibiotics and 24.3% of respondents have had a prescription without seeing the GP. Female respondents have received prescription without a visit to GP more often compared to male respondents (85.1% vs 14.9%; p=0.025). 29.9% have never had a sample taken for laboratory analysis to determine the bacteria. The respondents who were against vaccines tended to be against antibiotics as well (p<0.000).
Conclusion(s): 1. The usage of antibiotics was influenced by gender, education level and health care education. 2. The antibiotics were used mostly for treating urinary tract infections, throat infections and pulmonary infections. 3. The respondents who were against vaccines tended to be against antibiotics as well compared to the respondents who were pro vaccines.
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