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Understanding on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance among a group of internet users in Sri Lanka and development of a simple online educational tool

Authors:

R. Abhayasinghe,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About R.
Faculty of Medicine
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N. Ekanayake,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About N.
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine
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I. Priyasad,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About I.
Faculty of Medicine
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O. Amarajeewa,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About O.
Faculty of Medicine
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S. Abeyrathna,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S.
Faculty of Medicine
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K. R. Althaf,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About K. R.
Faculty of Medicine
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A. L. Tennegedara,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About A. L.
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine
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V. C. Liyanapathirana

University of Peradeniya, LK
About V. C.
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Cooperation of the general public is required to successfully combat the imminent threat of antibiotic resistance (ABR). This study was conducted in two parts; 1) to assess the understanding of internet users on antibiotics and ABR and 2) to develop a simple educational tool to improve the understanding on ABR among internet users.

 

Methods:

Part 1: A web-based self-administered questionnaire was used to gather data. Open ended questions were analyzed thematically. A knowledge score was calculated from the close-ended questions. 204 responses were analyzed.

Part 2: A web-based tool based on multiple choice questions with answers was developed targeting areas identified as deficient in knowledge through part 1. This was made available through the same social media platforms as part 1 from November 2019. At the time of writing the paper in May 2021, 102 participants had engaged with the developed web-based tool.

 

Results: Of the 204 respondents to part 1, the majority (183, 89.7%) were undergoing or had completed tertiary education. The average knowledge score out of 10 was 4.9 (SD 2.4) and median score 5 with 114 (55.9%) scoring ≥5 marks. Of the 204 participants, 51 (26.8%) defined antibiotics as a drug that acts against any microorganism and 166 (81.8%) did at least one wrong practice relating to antibiotic use sometimes or always. Only 147 (72.1%) had heard the term ABR. In part 2, among those who used the educational tool, 81 (79.4%) found it helpful while 66 (64.7%) thought the tool will help change their behavior towards antibiotic use.

 

Conclusion: Overall knowledge and awareness on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance has ample room for improvement among the study group despite their higher educational levels. The developed tool received favourable feedback from those who engaged with it but has room for improvement.

How to Cite: Abhayasinghe, R., Ekanayake, N., Priyasad, I., Amarajeewa, O., Abeyrathna, S., Althaf, K.R., Tennegedara, A.L. and Liyanapathirana, V.C., 2021. Understanding on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance among a group of internet users in Sri Lanka and development of a simple online educational tool. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases, 11(2), pp.83–93. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v11i2.8412
Published on 28 Oct 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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