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Medical and pharmacy students’ knowledge, attitude and perception concerning antimicrobial use and resistance in Pakistan

Zikria Saleem, Mohamed Azmi Hassali, Furqan Hashmi, Faiza Azhar, Rabia Mubarak, Aysha Afzaal, Ujalla Munawar

Abstract

Background: Lack of adequate knowledge during undergraduate years may be responsible for prescribing or dispensing inappropriate antimicrobial agents which is one of the main reasons for antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Objectives: The objective of the present study was to evaluate levels of medical and pharmacy students’ knowledge, attitude and perception concerning antimicrobial use and resistance.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was carried out in Lahore, Pakistan. A questionnaire was designed through a literature review. The study population included medical students and pharmacy students of the semi-final year (fourth) and final year (fifth). Data were then collected using a supervised, self-administered and pre-tested questionnaire containing 50 closed-ended questions. Six hundred and fifty students were invited to complete the questionnaire and the response rate was 69.2% (450 students).

Results: The majority of the students (79%) agreed that too many antimicrobial agents were prescribed in the hospitals nationally. The knowledge about antimicrobial use and resistance was significantly higher in pharmacy students than medical students (p<0.05). Pharmacy students were more inclined to strongly agree (94%) that they would like more education on the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents compared to medical students (p=0.001).

Conclusion: In order to reduce the growing problem of AMR, efforts should be undertaken to ensure that future pharmacists and doctors in Pakistan are well educated in practices of rational use of antimicrobial agents and their stewardship.


Keywords

Antimicrobial Use; Antimicrobial Resistance; Medical Students; Pharmacy Students


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