Knowledge and Practice of Physicians about antibiotic resistance in Saudi Arabia after law enforcement on dispensing antibiotics without prescription: Findings from a cross-sectional study
Keywords:Knowledge, practice, antibiotic resistance, Saudi Arabia
Background: Dispensing antibiotics without prescription has emerged as a problem of concern in the middle east. Despite implementing laws and regulations, compliance with the law and enforcement of the law is not 100%. While several studies have been carried out to assess the knowledge of people about antibiotic resistance, none of the studies has focused on physicians in Saudi Arabia. Hence, this study aimed to assess the knowledge and practice of physicians regarding antibiotic resistance after law enforcement against dispensing antibiotics without prescription in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken on a sample of physicians (n=378) in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. A study questionnaire was sent to physicians online to assess their knowledge about antibiotic resistance and the practice of using antibiotics. Frequencies and proportions were calculated regarding various domains of knowledge and practice of using antibiotics in the clinical setting. SPSS software was used to analyze the data.
Results: The study results demonstrate that 48.10% of the physicians see 15-30 patients per day on average and more than half of the physicians (52.38%) prescribe > 10 antibiotics per day. Further 93% of the physicians knew about drug resistance to bacteria in the local community. Similarly, 90.5% of the physicians mentioned that several infections are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment by antibiotics and 85.2% were aware that if the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, it can be difficult or impossible to treat the cause of the infection. Only 77.5% of the physicians acknowledged antibiotic resistance as an issue that could affect communities and 33.9% of the physicians believe that antibiotic resistance is an issue in other countries but not here and 47.4% of them thought that antibiotic resistance is only a problem for people who take antibiotics regularly.
Conclusion: The knowledge of physicians regarding antibiotic resistance seems to be higher in Saudi Arabia after implementing the law against dispensing antibiotics without prescription. However, physicians’ beliefs about antibiotic resistance being not an issue for Saudi Arabia needs to be corrected as antibiotic resistance can be a problem for countries such as Saudi Arabia.
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