FACTORS AFFECTING THE ANTIBIOTIC SEEKING BEHAVIOR OF PATIENTS NOT RECEIVING ANTIBIOTICS FROM THE SUB-DISTRICT HEALTH PROMOTING HOSPITAL IN THE MUEANG DISTRICT, NAKHON PATHOM
The objective of this study was to investigate factors relating to the behavior of patients who seek to obtain the use of antibiotics, despite not being prescribed them on visiting the Sub-district Health Promoting Hospital in Nakhon Pathom. Data was collected from 437 patients between April and October 2019 through structured telephone interviews. The results showed that of the 437 patients questioned, 321 (73.23%) were female. Of those interviewed, 29.52% of patients viewed microbes as pathogenic microorganisms and 59.04% considered them to be invisible. 33.41% thought that antimicrobial resistance referred to the taking of a prescribed drug that did not lead to a recovery. 77.57% of patients thought the meaning of antibiotics was ‘germ killer’. 43.48% felt their problem could be solved by seeing a doctor. The percentage of patients who obtained information from public health officials on infections and antibiotics was 16.96% and 25.03% respectively. 36 (8.24%) patients sought to obtain antibiotics by themselves when they did not receive them as part of their treatment at the sub-district health promoting hospital. Of these, 16 obtained them from private medical clinics. The data shows that the behavior of patients seeking to obtain antibiotics independently was related to factors such as gender, education, occupation, the patient’s thinking process on microbes and the patient’s notions on the meaning of microbes and antibiotics (p-value<0.05). This research concludes that microbes and infections have become a "threat to health", on account of patients’ perception of antibiotics as providing a ‘magic bullet’ to fight against this enemy. With such a view of antibiotics being held, the behavior of those seeking to obtain them independently is understandable. Rational drug use policy should therefore include a multi-dimensional thinking process that takes into consideration these views.
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