A cross-sectional study of antibiotic misuse among Chinese children in developed and less developed provinces
Introduction: Antimicrobial resistance is a global health crisis and primarily caused by antibiotic misuse. Antibiotic misuse among children is particularly concerning, and its prevalence may vary from region to region in China with different development levels.
Methodology: Zhejiang and Shaanxi were selected to represent developed and less developed provinces in China, respectively. Data of 2924 parents in Zhejiang and 3355 parents in Shaanxi whose children were 0-13 years old were collected through multi-stage stratified cluster random sampling and a self-administrated questionnaire. Chi-square tests and logistic regression models were used for statistical analysis.
Results: Compared to parents in Zhejiang, those in Shaanxi were more likely to keep antibiotics for children at home, to engage in self-medication with antibiotics for children, and to make their children take antibiotics prophylactically. While there were no significant provincial differences between parents’ requests for antibiotics during pediatric consultations, parents in Shaanxi province were more likely to receive prescribed antibiotics.
Conclusions: Children in less developed provinces face higher risks of antibiotic misuse at home as well as when attending medical practitioners. Comprehensive educational interventions are required to improve antibiotic use for children all over China but particularly in less developed provinces such as Shaanxi. Furthermore, non-prescription sales and over-prescribing of antibiotics should be reduced by targeted strategies.
Copyright (c) 2020 Yannan Xu, Jingjing Lu, Chenhui Sun, Xiaomin Wang, Yanhong Jessika Hu, Xudong Zhou
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