Angus Reid Survey on Antibiotic Use: National Results and Regional Differences
The Angus Reid physician survey was conducted between January 17th and February 4th, 2000 and included 200 interviews with randomly recruited Canadian General Practitioners. The objective of the survey was to research physicians' attitudes toward antibiotics, to determine whether there have been significant changes during the past three years. This period of time coincides with educational programs implemented by NIPA since its creation in 1996.
- With regard to respiratory symptoms, 18% of GPs say their patients have requested antibiotics to treat respiratory symptoms less frequently in the past three years.
- Of these physicians, just 7% of physicians surveyed in Quebec said their patients asked for antibiotics less frequently compared to 33% of physicians surveyed in Atlantic Canada.
- Also, with regard to respiratory symptoms, 44% of GPs say that during the past three years, patients have inquired more frequently about the issue of antibiotic resistance.
- Responses ranged from a low of 30% in Quebec to a high of 63% in Alberta.
- With respect to patients understanding the difference between various types of infections, such as viral versus bacterial infections, 43% of GPs say their patients do not understand the difference very well.
- Just 23% of physicians in Saskatchewan and Manitoba said that patients didn't understand viral versus bacterial infections very well, compared to 65% of physicians in Quebec.
(All data was collected via Angus Reid's GP omnibus survey. Final data is weighted to reflect actual regional distributions. A sample of this size carries an associated margin of error or +/-6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20).
The Angus Reid patient/consumer telephone survey was conducted between January 26th and February 1st, 2000 and included interviews with 1,500 Canadians. The objective of the survey was to research consumers' attitudes toward antibiotics, to determine whether there have been significant changes, since the launch of NIPA in 1996.
- When asked how often they finish all of an antibiotic prescription, 76% of consumers say they always finish all of the medication even though they may feel better after a couple of days.
- Across Canada, the results were very similar ranging from 71% in Alberta to a high of 82% in British Columbia.
- Compared to three years ago, 55% of consumers are less likely to ask for a prescription when they have a cold or flu.
- These results varied from a low of 36% in Quebec to a high of 68% in British Columbia
- When consumers were asked if antibiotics* are useful for the treatment of viral infections, 54% incorrectly say that they agree somewhat or strongly that "antibiotics are useful for the treatment of viral infections".
- There was a wide range of responses from just 40% somewhat or strongly agreeing in British Columbia to a high of 71% in Quebec.
(*Note: Antibiotics are only useful for treating bacterial infections)
- When asked if most colds and flus can be successfully treated with antibiotics, 33% incorrectly agreed somewhat or strongly that "most colds and flus can be treated successfully with antibiotics".
- Regionally, just 21% of respondents in British Columbia incorrectly agreed somewhat or strongly that most colds and flus can be treated successfully with antibiotics, compared to 50% of respondents in Atlantic Canada who incorrectly agreed.
(All data was collected via Angus Reid's national omnibus survey. Telephone interviews with 1,500 Canadians aged 18 and older were conducted between January 26th and February 1st, 2000. Final data is weighted to reflect 1996 Census data. For the purposes of this research, respondents were screened out if they have not been prescribed an antibiotic in the past 3 years. This resulted in a national sample size of 921, which carries an associated margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.)
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