Gallup Poll on Consumer Knowledge of and Experience with Antibiotic Use
When NIPA was launched to the public in a 1997 news conference, antibiotic experts also announced the results of a Gallup poll on the attitudes, knowledge and opinion of Canadians towards antibiotics.
This poll was based on phone interviews with a national sample of Canadian adults, half of whom had taken antibiotics before. Almost a third of the households surveyed had a child that had taken antibiotics in the past. The poll revealed that many patients fail to follow the directions when they take antibiotics - the medical term for this is non-compliance.
Here are the highlights:
- 49 % agreed (mistakenly) that "antibiotics are effective against colds and flu"
- 21% of people who had been prescribed an oral antibiotic reported that they have had medication left over at times
- 34% reported that they had forgotten to take their medication as scheduled
- 26% of these people reported that they have stopped taking their medication before the entire prescription was gone
- Of those people who said they had medication leftover, 56% said it was because they felt better.
- When asked what they did with the leftover medication, 63% said they threw it away
- 20% of people said they put the leftover antibiotics in their medicine chest
- 2% of people surveyed reported they did not fill the prescription the last time an antibiotic was prescribed
- When asked if they had ever heard of the term "antibiotic resistant infection", 50% said "yes"
- Among those aware of antibiotic resistant infections, 34% said they were diseases that do not respond to antibiotics
- Almost all adults (95%) agree that antibiotics should be taken only when they are really needed
Back to Top