How patients’ experiences of respiratory tract infections affect healthcare-seeking and antibiotic use: insights from a cross-sectional survey in rural Anhui, China

Mengjie Diao, Xingrong Shen, Jing Cheng, Jing Chai, Rui Feng, Panpan Zheng, Rongyao Zhou, Helen Lambert, Debin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

3 Citations (Scopus)
218 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective To investigate the occurrence of reported respiratory tract infection (RTI) symptoms and their effects on use of self and professional care among patients in the community.

Design A cross-sectional retrospective household survey.

Setting 12 administrative villages from rural Anhui, China.

Participants 2160 rural adult residents aged ≥18 years registered as rural residents and actually living in the sampled villages when this study was conducted.

Method The respondents were recruited using stratified-clustered randomised sampling. A structured questionnaire was deployed to solicit information about social demographics, symptoms of last RTI and healthcare-seeking following the RTI. Descriptive analyses were performed to investigate the reported symptoms, and multivariate logistic regression models were developed to identify relationships between number of concurrent symptoms and healthcare-seeking and antibiotics use.

Results A total of 1968 residents completed the survey, resulting in a response rate of 91.1%. The number of concurrent symptoms showed a clear increasing trend with seeking help from clinics and being prescribed antibiotics. Multivariate regression revealed statistically significant associations between the following: (a) visiting clinics and education (OR=0.790), sore throat (OR=1.355), cough (OR=1.492), shortness of breath (OR=1.707) and fever (OR=2.142); (b) buying medicine from shops without prescription and education (OR=1.230) and cough (OR=1.452); (c) getting antibiotics at clinics and sore throat (OR=2.05) and earache and/or tinnitus (OR=4.884); and (d) obtaining antibiotics at medicine shops and productive cough (OR=1.971).

Conclusions Reported RTI symptoms play an important role in shaping both patient- and doctor-led responses.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019492
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Volume8
Issue number2
Early online date3 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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