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Table 4 Findings from the focus group

From: A mixed methods study to understand patient expectations for antibiotics for an upper respiratory tract infection

  Low socioeconomic group Long term migrants who speak Arabic at home Mothers with young children group Long term migrants who speak Chinese at home
Antibiotics IS… What WORKS. Cheaper than other Cold and Flu medications. Most POTENT medication (‘magic elixir’). We are OBSESSED with it. A GOD-send especially for the KIDS. I can’t cope without it. For serious Bacterial infection. You can build up resistance, but I prefer to take it when I ‘have to’.
I’ve heard/ • My GP keeps saying take it only when you get worse • Prevention better than cure! • Young children recover faster with antibiotics • In China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan doctors will administer antibiotic intravenously at first sign of any illness)
• People who use antibiotics frequently when they are not seriously ill develop antibiotic resistance
• Of super bugs, resistant to antibiotics
I believe… • It only works on bacteria or virus… germs in general (like Ebola)
• You shouldn’t take it all the time (but I don’t really understand why? - I’ve been taking it regularly for 20 years and it’s worked!)
• Of antibiotic resistance, the doctors will put you onto stronger doses or change the brand/type of antibiotics
• Some people I know is now resistant, Amoxyl doesn’t work anymore on them
• Kids can develop pneumonia from the common cold if left untreated with antibiotics
• Of antibiotic resistance, but it’s alright because I only use it when we are very sick
I EXPECT Antibiotics when… • Winter months when lots of people get sick with cold and flu
• I can feel ‘it’ coming (scratchy sore throat, if I don’t nib it in the bud, it’ll take me 2 weeks to recover)
• I KNOW my child/my body is going to get worse (I know my body or child’s body better than the GP) • Kids are sick for more than 3 days
• Kids get the same illness (like croup) all the time
• Especially winter months, daycare is filled with sick kids and germs
• Bacterial infection
• I have a serious illness or bacterial infection
• GP says I have a 60–60 % chance my illness could be caused by bacteria or virus
• I’ve waited for more than an hour at the GP
Therefore I ASK for Antibiotics BECAUSE… • I KNOW it works (as it has many time in the PAST!)
• They put me on the ‘stronger dose’/changed the brand (they can keep introducing new ‘brands’ anyway)
• I know if I nip it in the bud with antibiotics straight-away, my child will recover faster than without it
• I feel more SECURE when I take it
• My child can’t recover (quickly) without it
• I can’t cope with all 4 of my kids sick at home (domino effect)
• I need to get back to work (and can’t take so many days off to look after sick children)
• I want a TANGIBLE BENEFIT to compensate for my time (in the waiting room)
• Security just in-case I get worse, I don’t want the inconvenience of re-visiting the GP
When the GP gives me a script and say fill it later, I… • Filled it straight away! Why would I wait until it gets worse? • I wait and monitor my condition and will only fill the antibiotic script if I don’t get better
Others like me… • Everyone takes it more in winter
• They take a few and stop when they get better
• Buy them in bulk from overseas
• My family and friends take antibiotics even more than I do
• My family takes it like multi-vitamins
• Stop when I feel better/ Save left-over doses for emergency
• Mums who don’t work can afford to stay at home with their sick kids, so they probably don’t need to give their kids antibiotics as often as I do • Buys in bulk from overseas and self-medicate for conditions such as back pain
I WORRY about… • Thrush, diarrhoea
• I’m now resistant to a few of the antibiotics
• Expense
• Thrush, diarrhoea • Kids have tummy upsets (constipation or diarrhoea)
• Killing off all the good bacteria
• Antibiotic resistant super bugs
• Killing off all the good bacteria
• Antibiotic resistant super bugs
• Being prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily