Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Attitudes to upper respiratory infections, antibiotics and bacterial resistance : managing common respiratory infections and promoting the appropriate use of antibiotics by the general population
Author: Hawkings, Nancy J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 8886
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The public, as the users of antibiotics, can contribute to the control of bacterial resistance. National and international campaigns have recommended public education to promote the judicious and safe use of antibiotics, and in particular, reducing antibiotic use and misuse in upper respiratory tract infections. Campaigns, however, have not been informed by detailed understanding of public attitudes to the problem. Although previous studies have explored lay perceptions of common infections and antibiotics, public attitudes to bacterial resistance, beliefs about antibiotic use in relation to bacterial resistance and the attitudes towards respiratory tract infection influencing antibiotic use are under researched. This thesis addresses this gap using a grounded theory approach. Semi-structured interviews with members of community groups were conducted across South East Wales. By analysing patterns and connections between various beliefs this thesis shows that historical antecedents and beliefs about dirt and germs act as prototypes for current beliefs about resistant infection. Most respondents did not feel that they have a personal role in either the cause or control of bacterial resistance. Lay beliefs about aetiology resided in both traditional and biomedical models. There was a reliance on medicines, and specifically antibiotic attachment, which contributed to self-medication and expectations for antibiotics during upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Promoting public engagement in the control of bacterial resistance requires a number of approaches to behavioural change. In relation to antibiotic use efforts to promote adherence to antibiotic regimes need to address beliefs about antibiotics, forgetfulness and practical barriers to adherence but also to reduce public expectations for antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections by enhancing understanding about the microbial causes of URTI. Efforts to reduce antibiotic use, however, need also to address the wider meaning and the reliance on antibiotics. Public engagement in the control of infection through hand washing should be promoted as an effective way to reduce the risk community acquired resistant infection.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available