Parental contribution to over prescription of antibiotics for sore throat in children
Introduction: Antibiotics are often prescribed by physicians for sore throat in children because of the danger of post streptococcal complications. The role of the parents in over prescription of antibiotics is less well known.
Objective: To evaluate the knowledge, attitudes and practice of parents to antibiotic prescription for childhood sore throat.
Methods: The subjects were parents who brought their children to the out-patient clinics of a tertiary hospital. Their knowledge, attitude and practice of antibiotics prescription for sore throat in children were evaluated with the aid of a questionnaire. Responses were analyzed with IBM-SPSS version 20.0. The responses were presented in simple percentages while differences in proportions were tested with χ2 test.
Results: There were 309 respondents studied, of which 264 (85.4%) were mothers. Respondents were aged 20 to 64 years. While 54.0% of respondents believed sore throat may resolve without antibiotics, 69.4% also felt that every child with sore throat should receive antibiotics. Some 57.2% of respondents will request for antibiotic. More respondents with secondary (59.0%) and tertiary (56.6%) levels of education compared to primary (20.6%) level would not request for antibiotics, P = <0.001. 42% will not be satisfied with a physician who does not prescribe antibiotics.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated parental irrational demand for antibiotic for sore throat in children. This attitude was more in less educated parents. Education of the parents about the aetiology and rational antibiotic use of sore throat in children will mitigate this behavior.
Keywords: Sore throat; antibiotic over prescription; knowledge; attitude, parents