Knowledge, attitude and perception on antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance among final year medical students in the College of Medicine, Malawi
Medical curricula need to provide adequate knowledge on antimicrobial medicine use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Such knowledge is critical in shaping correct attitudes and perceptions among future prescribers. However, the extent of preparation provided by medical curricula remains unknown.
The current study sought to determine knowledge, attitude and perception on antimicrobial use and AMR among final year medical students in Malawi.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was undertaken among all final year medical students at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi in 2016. Total population sampling and self-administered questionnaires were used. Data were entered using Microsoft Excel and analysed with Epi info. Descriptive analysis for categorical data was done using frequencies and proportions, and for continuous data using measures of central tendency.
The response rate in this study was 95%. The mean and median aggregated scores were 7.2 and 7, respectively, for the 11 knowledge questions. Over 88% of the respondents answered more than half of the knowledge questions correctly. Respondents agreed that antimicrobials are overused both at national (50; 69%) and at hospital (52; 72%) levels.
This study reports high aggregated knowledge scores on antimicrobial use and resistance with wide variations on correct knowledge scores per question. The study further shows varying level in attitudes and perceptions among medical students. Overall, there were gaps on antimicrobial use and knowledge of AMR which the medical curriculum should addresses.