Parental knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding antibiotic use for upper respiratory tract infections in children

Asma S. Al Hashmi*, Abir S. Al Shuhumi, Rahma M. Al Kindi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to assess parental knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding antibiotic use for children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Methods: A multi-centre cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2018 to April 2019 at 15 randomly selected primary health centres in Muscat, Oman. A total of 384 parents with children under 12 years old were recruited. A validated questionnaire was utilised to determine knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding antibiotic use for children with URTIs. Results: All 384 parents participated in the study (response rate: 100%). Almost half of the participants (n = 173; 45.1%) agreed that antibiotics were the first and best treatment for URTIs in children, with 184 parents (47.9%) reporting that influenza symptoms in children improved more rapidly after the administration of antibiotics and 203 (52.9%) believing that antibiotics prevented complications. The majority (n = 219; 57.0%) of parents never gave their children antibiotics without a prescription, and 291 (75.8%) never used leftover antibiotics. Most participants (n = 233; 60.7%) stated that it was the doctor’s decision to prescribe antibiotics, 192 (50.0%) had never asked a physician to prescribe antibiotics for their child and 256 (66.7%) had never changed doctors because they did not prescribe antibiotics. Conclusion: This study found that parents had confidence in their healthcare providers; however, it also showed the extent of their lack of knowledge regarding the use of antibiotics for children with URTIs. There is a need for both public- and healthcare professional-oriented educational initiatives to promote rational antibiotic usage in Oman.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e289-e296
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 21 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotics
  • Attitudes and Health Knowledge
  • Children
  • Drug Utilization
  • Oman
  • Parents
  • Practice
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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