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.
- general practitioner
- upper respiratory tract infections