The Impact of Healthcare Providers’ Knowledge on Appropriate Prescribing of Antibiotics

  • Matthias Adorka School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
  • Kirk Allen Faculty of Health & Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster, England
  • Martie Lubbe Medicine Usage in South Africa, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • Jan Serfontein Medicine Usage in South Africa, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Keywords: Antibiotics, Inappropriate prescribing, Healthcare providers, Knowledge, Lesotho

Abstract

Background: In-depth knowledge of antibiotic principles is widely considered a necessary condition for appropriate prescribing of antibiotics. The study aimed at determining the impact of healthcare providers’ level of knowledge in bacteriology and principles of antibiotic prescribing on their abilities to prescribe antibiotics appropriately.Methods: A structured questionnaire survey targeting all doctors, nurses and healthcare providers within Health Service Areas abounding and including five selected public hospitals in Lesotho was carried out. The questionnaire tested respondents’ knowledge in bacteriology of infections and principles of antibiotic prescribing. Relevant data on antibiotic prescriptions were also collected concurrently with the survey. Data were analysed to establish respondents’ level of knowledge and the influence of same on their abilities to prescribe antibiotics appropriately.Results: In inpatient and outpatient departments, 53.3% and 62.5% of respondents demonstrated inadequate levels of knowledge in the bacteriology and treatment of infections, respectively. Of the prescriptions analysed, 57.0% in the inpatient department and 19.1% in the outpatient department were  classified  as  inappropriate.  Appropriateness  of  antibiotic  prescriptions  was  positively associated with healthcare providers’ level of knowledge in inpatient but not outpatient settings.Conclusion: A majority of healthcare providers appear to lack sufficient knowledge in bacteriology of infections and principles of antibiotic prescribing. In respect to antibiotic prescribing among inpatients but not outpatients the study demonstrated a positive correlation between healthcare providers’ knowledge and their abilities to prescribe antibiotics appropriately.

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Published
2015-10-11
How to Cite
1.
Adorka M, Allen K, Lubbe M, Serfontein J. The Impact of Healthcare Providers’ Knowledge on Appropriate Prescribing of Antibiotics. J Pharm Care. 1(4):133-140.
Section
Original Article(s)