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The knowledge and perceptions regarding antibiotic stewardship of the interns rotating at the Bloemfontein Academic Complex


Background: Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is a global problem with the overuse of antibiotics accelerating this process. Antibiotic stewardship aims to optimise antibiotic treatment to enable cost-effective therapy and improve patients’ outcome whilst limiting ABR. The study aimed to evaluate intern medical doctors’ knowledge and perceptions about antibiotic stewardship and their perceptions regarding education on relevant topics.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on interns rotating at Bloemfontein Academic Complex. An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was completed. The questionnaire recorded demographic information, perception and knowledge of antibiotic stewardship, and the quality of education as perceived by the interns.

Results: Of the 120 possible participants, 92 (76.7%) responded to all or part of the questionnaire. The median age of the respondents was 25 years, and 56.7% of the respondents were female. The mean score for the knowledge-based case scenarios was 5.4 out of 10. Only 4.4% participants could manage a drip site infection correctly, whilst 18.5% could treat Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteraemia. The interns perceived that they have a lack of training and preparedness in certain areas of prescribing antibiotics. Though 77.2% of the interns had received education on starting antibiotic treatment, 29.3% claimed to be unsure when to start antibiotic therapy. Interns indicated that formal lectures (81.3%) and bedside tutorials (86.7%) have a high educational value.

Conclusion: Intern medical doctors do not have sufficient knowledge to establish antibiotic stewardship but have a desire for improvement. The results identified specific areas where better antibiotic training is required.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-6204
print ISSN: 2078-6190