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What do Patients Know about Antibiotics and How Often do They Expect an Antibiotic Prescription?

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2019.0198-0202

german translation / full article

Anja Klingenberg, Tonia Brand, Edith Andres, Petra Kaufmann-Kolle, Veit Wambach, Joachim Szecsenyi

Keywords: antibiotics antimicrobial resistance development outpatient care patient expectations patient perspective

Background: Doctors sometimes overestimate patients’ requests for an antibiotic prescription. In order to include patients’ experiences and expectations, a patient survey was conducted. The aim of the project ARena is to counter the development of antibiotic resistance by informing physicians, medical assistants, patients and the public on the rational use of antibiotics in outpatient care (respiratory tract infections, otitis media, sinusitis and cystitis).Methods: At the beginning of the project 1569 patients with an infection (see above) from 39 practices were asked after the consultation in an anonymous questionnaire for their expectations and experiences concerning antibiotic prescriptions and their knowledge about antibiotics. Results: 19 % of the participants had hoped for, 12 % asked for and 26 % had received an antibiotic prescription. Least often patients with the common cold, a flu-like infection or influenca (64 %) hoped for, asked for and received an antibiotic prescription (10 %, 7 % and 10 %). The majority – but not all participants already had knowledge about the effects of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic resistance. Patients with higher school education and patients who had seen information materials about antibiotics in their practice, female patients, working patients and native speakers of German knew more about antibiotics. Conclusions: Physicians should not take for granted that patients with an infection necessarily expect an antibiotic prescription. The promotion of patients’ knowledge about antibiotics and shared-decision making seems to be helpful to support rational antibiotic prescribing.


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