Patient knowledge and perception of upper respiratory infections, antibiotic indications and resistance

Frank A. Filipetto, Danesh S. Modi, Lucia Beck Weiss, Carman A. Ciervo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: The misuse of antibiotics is not a harmless practice; rather, it can render future antibiotic treatments ineffective. This study looked to determine patient knowledge and perception of upper respiratory infections and indicated treatment. Methods: The authors developed and administered a questionnaire to 98 patients visiting affiliated family medicine clinical sites. Participants were selected randomly, either while sitting in the waiting room, or after being seen by the clinician. Results: While more than half the respondents recognized that treatment for colds did not require antibiotics, 70% erroneously indicated that viruses require antibiotic treatment. Additionally, almost 90% of respondents thought that yellow nasal discharge or coughing up yellow mucous requires antibiotic treatment. It was interesting to note that 95% of patients reported satisfaction when advised by their physician that antibiotic treatment wasn't necessary, even if they initially thought they needed antibiotics. Conclusions: Primary care providers have the greatest opportunity to curb inappropriate antibiotic use by both prescribing appropriately and educating their patients about proper antibiotic use when indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-39
Number of pages5
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
StatePublished - 24 Feb 2008


  • Antibiotic indications
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Patient education
  • Patient knowledge
  • Upper respiratory infection


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