Introduction and objective:
Growing resistance to commonly used antibiotics has challenged 21st-century medicine. To date, antibiotic policy has induced bacterial resistance and isolation of multi-drug resistant superbugs insensitive to known antibiotics. The aim of the study was to investigate the knowledge of primary healthcare patients about antibiotic usage, and to identify incorrect patient habits.

Material and methods:
The research was based on a proprietary, anonymous Internet survey consisting of 21 questions, in which only adults could participate. The survey selected nine questions to assess the respondents’ knowledge.

201 patients participated in the study. About 50% of participants based their knowledge about antibiotics on information obtained during a medical visit, 16.4% on consultations with a pharmacist, 24.9% on the Internet, and 11.4% exchanged experiences with friends. Every third respondent was not satisfied with the information obtained from a doctor. People with higher education reported this issue more often (p<0.05). Nearly 35% of people living in the countryside (p<0.05) admitted to using the part of a drug left after previous antibiotic therapy, and 10% administered antibiotics obtained from friends or relatives. Every fourth patient believed that antibiotics were effective against colds and flu. The average knowledge test result was 5.49 out of 9 points, and a positive score of 6 or more was obtained by nearly 60% of the respondents.

The results of this preliminary study indicate that more focus should be given to improving patients’ education and compliance with treatment recommendations.

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