Background Acute upper respiratory infections (AURI) are the leading causes of antibiotic prescribing in primary care although antibiotics are often not indicated.
Aim To gain an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of GPs in Singapore and the associated latent factors to guide the implementation of an effective programme to reduce antibiotic use in primary care.
Design and setting An anonymous survey on the KAP of antibiotic use in AURI of GPs in Singapore.
Method KAP survey questionnaires were posted to all GPs from a database. To ascertain the latent factors affecting prescribing patterns, exploratory factor analysis was performed.
Results Among 427 responses, 351 (82.2%) were from GPs working in private practice. It was found that 58.4% of GPs in the private versus 72.4% of those in the public sector recognised that >80% of AURIs were caused by viruses (P = 0.02). The majority of GPs (353/427; 82.7%) felt that antibiotics were overprescribed in primary care. Significant factors associated with low antibiotic prescribing were good medical knowledge and clinical competency (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.4 to 4.3), good clinical practice (aOR 2.7 [95% CI = 2.0 to 3.6]), availability of diagnostic tests (aOR 1.4 [95% CI = 1.1 to 1.8]), and desire to improve clinical practice (aOR 1.5 [95% CI = 1.2 to 1.9]). The conservative practice of giving antibiotics ‘to be on the safe side’ is significantly less likely to be associated with low antibiotic prescribing (aOR 0.7 [95% CI = 0.5 to 0.9]).
Conclusion This is the first KAP survey on antibiotic prescribing for AURI among GPs in Singapore. With the latent factors identified, future interventions should be directed at addressing these factors to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.
- Received June 16, 2016.
- Revision requested August 28, 2016.
- Accepted September 30, 2016.
- © British Journal of General Practice 2017