Objective: Antibiotic abuse has contributed to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and has become a global concern. With a poorly regulated health system and a general lack of data, Bangladesh remains under high risk of AMR spread. To minimize the existing gap in the literature, this study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding antibiotic use and misuse among university students.
Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used to survey 1400 students using a self-administered questionnaire from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed with statistical significance defined as p < 0.05.
Results: More than half of the respondents had poor knowledge and neutral attitude towards antibiotics. The students from bioscience were found to have better knowledge and attitude than arts and business. Respondents with good knowledge were more likely to show a positive attitude, p<0.05. Most of the respondents did not know that antibiotics are ineffective against most coughs and cold; and above 60% practiced self-medication. About one-third did not know that antibiotics mainly target bacteria, and surprisingly, more than four-fifth perceived that humans & animals could become resistant to antibiotics. Also, half of the participants did not fulfill their prescribed antibiotic course.
Conclusion: There is a substantial amount of knowledge and attitude gap about and non-compliance to the proper use of antibiotics among the university students. The research findings, therefore, reflect the need for policy-level interventions to increase awareness and develop effective countermeasures to prevent the misuse of antibiotics.