Investigating knowledge regarding antibiotics among pharmacy and allied health sciences students in a Sri Lankan university
Introduction: Education and adequate training regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics for health care professionals is essential in developing countries. Educational strategies can also influence appropriate antibiotic use in the community. The aim of this study was to assess and compare knowledge of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) between pharmacy and other allied health sciences (AHS) students at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, which offers undergraduate teaching in pharmacy and other AHS; nursing, radiography and medical laboratory sciences. All students in each program were invited to participate in this study. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive data analysis and Chi square tests were performed.
Results: Pharmacy (n = 102) and other AHS students (n = 284) completed the questionnaire (response rate 69%). A majority of participants (76%) reported antibiotic use in the past year. A significantly higher proportion of pharmacy students reported antibiotic use was appropriate for the management of skin wound infection, urinary tract infection and sore throat compared to AHS students, p < 0.05. No significant differences were observed between pharmacy and AHS students regarding knowledge of AMR. Most students understood terms related to antibiotic resistance through their undergraduate studies.
Conclusion: Pharmacy students demonstrated better knowledge and understanding regarding antibiotics utilization than AHS students. Both pharmacy and AHS students had good understanding regarding AMR. The undergraduate curricula of pharmacy and AHS have contributed significantly to understanding the terminology associated with antibiotics and AMR.
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