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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 526-532

Antibiotic prescribing knowledge, attitudes, and practice among physicians in teaching hospitals in South India

1 Department of Microbiology, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Yenepoya Medical College; Yenepoya Research Centre, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A Veena Shetty
Department of Microbiology, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte University, Deralakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.222057

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Background: Antibiotic overuse is a major public health challenge worldwide. Data from India related to physician antibiotic prescribing patterns are limited. Aims: We assessed antibiotic prescribing knowledge, attitudes, and practices among physicians in Mangalore, South India. Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional descriptive study design, physicians at academic tertiary hospitals completed an anonymous on-site survey. The survey items incorporated Likert scales, and data were analyzed using SPSS version 15.0. Results: Of the 350 physicians approached using a convenient sampling method, 230 (66%) consented and interviewed. The physician's knowledge of resistance patterns of common bacteria was related to receiving periodic updates on resistance patterns of bacteria (P = 0.019) and participation in courses on antibiotics (P = 0.026). Individuals with more number of years of experience (mean of 11 years) were less likely to justify antibiotic use for uncomplicated bronchitis (P = 0.015) and acute gastroenteritis (P = 0.001). Most respondents (n = 204, 89%) believed that physicians overprescribed antibiotics in routine clinical practice. Forty-five percent (n = 104) stated that their hospitals did not have an infection control policy in place. Conclusions: This study provides some understanding of physician's antibiotic prescribing patterns from teaching hospitals in India. Judicious antimicrobial use through educational and antimicrobial stewardship programs remains critical to control the spread of antibiotic resistance.

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