Send to

Choose Destination
Prev Med. 2005 Feb;40(2):162-9.

Appropriate antibiotic use: variation in knowledge and awareness by Hispanic ethnicity and language.

Author information

Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA.



Recent campaigns are informing the public that antibiotics are inappropriate for viral respiratory infections. As little is known about their effect on populations challenged by less access to care, lower education, low income, low English proficiency, or non-mainstream cultural backgrounds, this study assessed knowledge, attitudes, and awareness in an ethnically diverse community.


A telephone survey in English or Spanish of a cross-sectional, random sample of 692 non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) and 300 Hispanics in Colorado.


For all respondent groups, knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use for colds and bronchitis was low. Hispanics surveyed in Spanish, compared with non-Hispanic whites, had significantly lower knowledge about antibiotics for colds, higher knowledge for bronchitis, lower awareness about antibiotic resistance, and greater dissatisfaction if an antibiotic were not prescribed. In all comparisons, English-language Hispanics tended to reflect non-Hispanic white response patterns. Independent predictors of awareness were ethnicity, education, and age. Independent predictors of dissatisfaction were ethnicity, knowledge about antibiotic use for colds, and bronchitis. Ethnicity was an independent predictor of knowledge about the inappropriateness of antibiotics for colds and bronchitis.


To bridge knowledge gaps, educational campaigns for all segments of the population are needed. Content should be responsive to heterogeneity within populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for University of Colorado, Strauss Health Sciences Library
Loading ...
Support Center