Irrational Antibiotic Use among Secondary School Teachers and University Faculty Members in Shiraz, Iran

Mehrdad Askarian, Najmeh Maharlouie


Objective: The main aim of this study was to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice of university faculty members and high school teachers regarding irrational antibiotic use and self‑medication.

Methods: In this cross‑sectional survey, 320 university teaching staff and 150 high school teachers received a questionnaire that assessed their knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding the use of antibiotics and self‑medication. The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed with Cronbach’s alpha internal consistency coefficient and the results were analyzed with the Mann‑Whitney U test. Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used to determine the correlation between knowledge, attitude, and practice.

Results: The questionnaires were completed by 134 university faculty members and 308 high school teachers, among whom 35.8% and 47.1%, respectively, reported self‑medication with antibiotics during the previous year, mostly to relieve sore throat. High school teachers were significantly better than university teaching staff in their knowledge about the effects of antibiotics and in their usage practices. In both the groups, a weak direct linear relationship was detected between attitude and practice (r=0.243, r=0.238, P<0.01) and a weak inverse linear relationship was seen between knowledge and practice (P=0.22) in the high school teacher group.

Conclusions: Our results showed that self‑medication and the irrational use of antibiotics were common among highly educated people in a community population sample in Shiraz, Iran. The rational use of antibiotics may be favored by improving knowledge about these drugs.

Keywords: Academic staff; antibiotic; attitude; knowledge; practice; self‑medication

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