Mother’s Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Antibiotics Use for Children with Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Babylon Governorate


Background: Self-medication with antibiotics (AB) is an ongoing main global health problem. It is defined as the use of nonprescribedmedications by people on their own initiative or on the advice of another individual, without physician consultation. Lack of knowledgeamong parents regarding the prudent use of AB in managing common childhood illnesses can result in its misuse. On the other hand,physicians commonly prescribe AB as their first response for several symptoms, usually relating such over-prescription to patients’/parents’ pressure. Although AB are targeted to kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria and have no effect on viral agents, it is ofteninappropriately used to treat viral infections, such as most upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Problems associated with theoveruse of AB include development of antibacterial resistance, increasing the burden of chronic diseases, rising costs of health services.Objectives: To evaluate mothers’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) related to antibiotic use for children with URTI in a sampleof mothers in Babylon Governorate and assess the associated factors with antibiotic misuse among mothers who attended primaryhealthcare centers and hospitals. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in Babylon Governorate during theperiod from April 10 to June 20, 2021. Two primary healthcare centers (one in the periphery of Babylon Governorate and the other incenter of Babylon Governorate) and two hospitals (one in the periphery of Babylon Governorate and the other in center of BabylonGovernorate) were selected conveniently and 270 mothers who attended these centers interviewed 3–4 days per week during the periodof the study. Data were gathered through structured questionnaire that was used to identify different variables in the study during theinterview. Statistical analysis was carried out using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Results: The mean age of mothers was(30 ± 7) years old. Small percentage had adequate knowledge about antibiotic use (26.3%), and only 8.52% had positive attitudes.Also, only 10.37% had good practice. Self-medication of AB was in a large proportion of mothers (67%) and most of them dependon pharmacists as a source of information (61.24%). There was a significant association between inadequate knowledge and motherswho were housewives, school-educated, and had self-medication practice. There was a significant association between negative attitudeand poor practice with mothers who had self-medication. This study revealed that mothers who lived in rural areas, school-educated,housewives, and had enough monthly income tend to self-medicate their children with AB. Conclusions: Inadequate knowledge related tomothers with school education and housewives. Self-medication with AB is related to poor KAP. Self-medication occurs mostly amongmothers who are housewives, residents in rural area, had school education, and have enough income.