Attitudes, beliefs and knowledge concerning antibiotic use and self-medication: a comparative European study

Grygoryan Larissa, Reginald Deschepper, F.m. Haaijer-Ruskamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Although the relevance of cultural factors for antibiotic use has been recognized, few studies exist in Europe. We compared public attitudes, beliefs and knowledge concerning antibiotic use and self-medication between 11 European countries. METHODS: In total, 1101 respondents were interviewed on their attitudes towards appropriateness of self-medication with antibiotics and situational use of antibiotics, beliefs about antibiotics for minor ailments, knowledge about the effectiveness of antibiotics on viruses and bacteria and awareness about antibiotic resistance. To deal with the possible confounding effect of both use of self-medication and education we performed stratified analyses, i.e. separate analyses for users and non-users of self-medication, and for respondents with high and low education. The differences between countries were considered relevant when regression coefficients were significant in all stratum-specific analyses. RESULTS: Respondents from the UK, Malta, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Israel and Lithuania had significantly less appropriate attitudes, beliefs or knowledge for at least one of the dimensions compared with Swedish respondents. The Dutch, Austrian and Belgian respondents did not differ from Swedish for any dimension. CONCLUSIONS: The most pronounced differences were for awareness about resistance, followed by attitudes towards situational use of antibiotics. Awareness about antibiotic resistance was the lowest in countries with higher prevalence of resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1243
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2007


  • antibiotics


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