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Parents’ awareness of antimicrobial resistance: a qualitative study utilising the Health Belief Model in Perth, Western Australia

Alejandro, A.L., Bruce, M.ORCID: 0000-0003-3176-2094 and Leo, C. (2022) Parents’ awareness of antimicrobial resistance: a qualitative study utilising the Health Belief Model in Perth, Western Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health . Early View.

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Objective: This study aimed to determine local factors that promote or prevent parents’ responsible use of antibiotics for their children in Perth, Western Australia.

Methods: The Health Belief Model was used to guide this study. Four focus group discussions were conducted, with 26 participants. Participants were recruited purposively through a parent group organisation. The Framework Method was utilised to analyse the data.

Results: Participants agreed that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious health problem. However, participants admitted that they lacked awareness of AMR, inhibiting their ability to assess the risks of developing AMR infections among their children. Participants knew the indications and risks of antibiotic use but still viewed antibiotics as a time-saving solution that minimised disruption to their routine. Participants’ previous experiences in managing their children's illness increased their confidence and linked their positive and negative experiences with their general practitioners in their judicious use of antibiotics.

Conclusions: While parents demonstrated awareness of the indications of antibiotics, they continue to lack AMR awareness and overvalue antibiotics.

Implications for public health: The findings highlight that incorporating parent empowerment and participation in decision-making regarding antibiotics use, and maintaining a positive relationship with healthcare providers, were important strategies to encourage the appropriate use of antibiotics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Business
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors
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