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Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the concern and fears of parents of pediatric patients about the use of antibiotics and their side effects on their children. The sources of knowledge about these fears and concern as well as the proportion of parents who comply and press for use of antibiotic were assessed. A one year prospective, questionnaire – based, cross – sectional, multicenter study involving parents of pediatric patients less then 15 years of age in both government and private medical centers was conducted. Both in patients and out patients were included. Twenty percent of parents liked their physician to prescribe antibiotic, 45% were undetermined and 35% did not like. Among those who wanted antibiotic to be prescribed, 30.7% were afraid that child may get blood infection and 15% wanted the child to get well quickly. Of parents who do not like to give antibiotics, 46.3% believed they will lower immunity and 34.9% believed that they will cause damage to the kidney, cause diarrhea and child might get infected with stronger organism. The majority of parents (37%) learned about the side effect of antibiotic from physician, 30% learn from newspaper and 28.8% from pamphlet. This study showed that parent’s perceptions regarding antibioticuse in children are varied. These perceptions affect their attitude towards antibiotics use and hence they refrained from exerting pressure on physician for a prescription of an antibiotic. The changes in perceptions can be attributed to physicians and to exaggerated concerns about complications of antibiotics that are propagated through newspaper, TV media and pamphlets. It is proposed that the physician’s should discuss the pros and cons of antibioticuse with parents during the health visit.
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Author(s): Fahad Abdullah Al Zamil
Antibiotic, children, parent, community survey