Knowledge and behaviors in relation to antibiotic use among rural residents in Anhui, China

Jing Cheng, Caroline Coope, Jing Chai, Isabel Oliver, Anthony Kessel, Debin Wang, Yehuan Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine antibiotic-related knowledge and behaviors in rural Anhui, identify factors associated with knowledge, and explore the relationship between knowledge and antibiotic use. Methods: Cross-sectional study of a random sample of 2760 residents of rural China using structured interviews. Results: The response rate was 94.6%. A total of 2390 respondents (91.6%) believed that antibiotics can control viruses; 2007 (77.5%) respondents thought that a combination of antibiotics is more effective than a single class; and 590 (22.6%) were able to name at least one disbenefit of using antibiotics. Multivariate analysis revealed those with a higher educational level and younger age group had greater knowledge of antibiotics (OR 2.54 and 0.77, respectively). Self-medication was common with 1052 (out of 2274 responses, 46.3%) of participants use over the counter or leftover medicines for common infections. Greater knowledge was associated with buying drugs without prescription (aOR 2.02; 95% CI, 1.29–3.17) and using leftover medication (aOR 2.80; 95% CI, 1.55–5.06). Conclusion: Knowledge about antibiotics was low and reported use high. Worryingly those with greater knowledge had less desirable behaviors that highlights the urgent need for multifaceted interventions to change behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-659
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number6
Early online date26 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • antibiotics use
  • epidemiology
  • individual behavior
  • pharmacoepidemiology
  • social determinants


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