A Descriptive Study Using an Intercept Survey: Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors About Systemic Antibiotic Use in Adults Who Reported a Wound Within the Previous Year

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Journal of wound, ostomy, and continence nursing


PURPOSE: This project examined knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about systemic antibiotic use for persons who reported a wound within the previous year.

DESIGN: Secondary data analyses of 505 adults from a cross-sectional, prospective, intercept survey where every fifth adult was randomly approached to participate.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING: Twenty-six participants (5.15% of the parent sample) stated having a wound within the previous year.

METHODS: Participants were "interviewed" using the Facilitators and Barriers to Consumer Use of Antibiotics questionnaire that included demographics, health, information sources, antibiotic knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior questions. Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis was used to find clusters of items on the attitude, beliefs, and behavior questions.

RESULTS: Sample demographics included 15 women and 11 African Americans, and 17 had some college education. Knowledge about antibiotics had a mean correct score of 10 out of 15 (67%) questions. Higher antibiotic knowledge was significantly related to higher education (rs = 0.69, P < .001). There were 2 attitude and beliefs clusters: most participants (>85%) recognized the need for medical supervision of antibiotic use (cluster 1), and beliefs about the need for antibiotics to prevent illness or treat wounds varied in 27% to 62% of participants (cluster 2). There were 4 behavior clusters: almost all participants 96% (cluster 1) filled and took the antibiotic if prescribed; greater than 71% (cluster 2) disagreed with unapproved methods of obtaining antibiotics; greater than 87% (cluster 3) used prescribed antibiotics correctly; and 36% of participants heard about antibiotic resistance through television or radio or Internet (40%) (cluster 4).

CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge about antibiotics was low, while attitudes were positive. These findings support the need for research and evidence-based information on the role of antibiotics in wound care.

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