General practitioners’ knowledge, attitude and prescribing of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections in Selangor, Malaysia: findings and implications

M.A. Hassali, T.K.T. Kamil, A.M.Y. Faridah, A.A. Alrasheedy, Z.M. Yussoff, F. Saleem, S.K. AL-Tamimi, Z.Y. Wong, H. Aljadhey, B. Godman

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Background: Antibiotics are widely prescribed especially for URTIs. Their irrational use can increase costs and resistance. Aim: Assess knowledge, attitude and prescribing of antibiotics for URTIs in, Selangor, Malaysia using a cross-sectional survey among GPs working in private clinics in 2011. Results: 139 physicians completed the questionnaire (response rate = 34.8%). 49.6% (n=69) agreed antibiotics are helpful in treating URTIs, with most GPs agreeing antibiotics may reduce URTI duration and complications. The majority of GPs reported they felt patients expected antibiotics, with 36.7% (n=51) agreeing patients would change doctors if they did not prescribe antibiotics and 21.6% (n=30) agreeing when requested they prescribe antibiotics even if they believe them unnecessary. When assessed against six criteria, most GPs had a moderate level of knowledge of prescribing for URTIs. However, antibiotic prescriptions could be appreciably reduced. Conclusion: Further programmes are needed to educate GPs and patients about antibiotics building on current initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-520
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
Issue number4
Early online date21 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • general practitioner
  • upper respiratory tract infections
  • antibiotics

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