Arwa Alumran

Arwa Alumran

University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Title: The Parental Use of Antibiotics in Children in Saudi Arabia


Arwa has completed her PhD at the age of 28 years from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is currently holding a position as an assistant professor at the University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. She has published 5 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of repute.


The overuse of antibiotics especially in children is becoming one of the most important public health issues worldwide. This study aims to assess the factors underlying the parental use of antibiotics for children in Saudi Arabia. This is a cross-sectional study design. 1104 Parents (52% were mothers) of children younger than 12 years old were recruited from schools parental meetings in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Ordinal logistic regression was used to identify the factors influencing the parental use of antibiotics in children. Risk factors considered included parents’ demographic information, child health-related information, along with the PAPA scales, a validated instrument that measures parents’ knowledge and beliefs, behaviours, adherence, seeking information, and awareness about antibiotic resistance. There is a high association between the frequency of cold episodes and the number of antibiotics used for the youngest child in the family during the previous year. Three parent-related psychosocial aspects appeared to be significantly associated with the parents’ tendency to use an antibiotic in their children: Knowledge and beliefs, behaviors, and seeking health-related information. Also, parent’s geographical background is associated with their use of antibiotics. The strong association between the number of cold incidence and the amount of antibiotics used suggests an evidence for antibiotic misuse in Saudi Arabia. In addition, to stronger regulations relating to dispensing antibiotics, the Saudi government should implement public health interventions aimed at advocating parents to appropriate use of antibiotics, and the potential dangers in their misuse.

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