Analysing incompliant attitudes towards antibiotic prescription completion in the UK

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To analyse demographic, social and geographic predictors of incompliant attitudes towards prescription completion in the UK.

Two waves of the Eurobarometer survey (85.1 and 90.1) were analysed, with a final sample size of 2016. Using logistic regression, the best-fitting combination of a set of identified variables was specified. The regression output and the model-averaged importance of each variable were analysed.

Compared with a median prevalence region, respondents in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) 1 London (OR = 2.358, 95% CI = 1.100–5.398) and Scotland (OR = 2.418, 95% CI = 1.083–5.693) regions were most likely to report an incompliant attitude. Respondents who correctly answered questions about whether unnecessary use of antibiotics could make them ineffective in future (OR = 0.353, 95% CI = 0.230–0.544), whether antibiotics kill viruses (OR = 0.644, 95% CI = 0.450–0.919) and whether antibiotics treat colds (OR = 0.412, 95% CI = 0.287–0.591) were less likely to report incompliant attitudes. Conversely, respondents who correctly responded that antibiotics can cause side effects (OR = 1.419, 95% CI = 1.014–1.999) were more likely to report incompliant attitudes. There was some evidence of associations between political orientation and level of compliance. Uncooperative survey respondents (OR = 2.001, 95% CI = 1.108–3.526) were more likely to report incompliant attitudes.

Incompliant attitudes towards antibiotic prescription compliance in the UK are associated with a variety of factors, including regional geographic variation in attitudes. Knowledge about antibiotics can relate to good stewardship attitudes, but concerns over side effects are associated with poor attitudes. Further research should examine the underlying attitudes and beliefs that political orientation may be a marker for in the context of antibiotic stewardship. Survey samples reliant on self-selection are likely to be biased towards good stewardship.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdkz492
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2019

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