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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2011 Nov;105(11):628-36. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2011.07.015. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Unnecessary antibiotic use for mild acute respiratory infections during 28-day follow-up of 823 children under five in rural Vietnam.

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Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Nobel väg 9, SE 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


Few prospective studies regarding antibiotic use for mild acute respiratory infections (ARI) have been conducted in community settings. This paper aimed to assess knowledge of children's caregivers and actual antibiotic use for children under five and to identify factors associated with antibiotic treatment for mild ARIs. Caregivers in 828 households in Bavi, Vietnam, were interviewed using a structured questionnaire assessing both knowledge and practice. Subsequently, 823 children were followed for 28 days to collect information regarding symptoms and drug use. For management of ARIs, only 13% of caregivers demonstrated correct overall knowledge in accordance with standard guidelines. The symptoms of the most recent illness were consistent with mild ARI in 79% of cases, and antibiotics were used in 71% of these. During the 28-day period, 62% of children had been given antibiotics and 63% of antibiotic courses were used for mild ARIs. One-half of the mild ARI episodes and 63% of the children with mild ARIs were treated with antibiotics. Most of the unnecessary antibiotic treatment was recommended by healthcare providers (82%). Most of the children had been administered antibiotics for common colds, although most caregivers believed that antibiotics were not required. Antibiotics were unnecessarily recommended at health facilities in the area.

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