Attitude of dentists towards the prescription of antibiotics in dental teaching hospitals of peshawar, pakistan: should we be concerned?
Objetive: The purpose of this study was to perform a comprehensive, multifaceted assessment of the attitudes of dentists and the dominant factors influencing their decisions regarding antibiotic prescription guidelines and applications in the dental teaching hospitals of Peshawar, Pakistan.
Material and Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 250 dental practitioners working in the four main teaching dental hospitals in Peshawar. Dental practitioners were asked to provide answers to parameters influencing their decision towards the need to prescribe antibiotics. The questionnaire further aimed to evaluate how aware the dental clinicians were of antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines and whether they considered themselves adequately trained and confident while prescribing the said medications.
Results: Out of the 250 questionnaires sent to the practitioners, 219 (88%) forms were returned. From the total, 109 (49.8%) of the respondents were males, and 23% of the dentists were found to prescribe antibiotics to their patients upon their insistence and antibiotic selection was found to be done based on the patient’s socio-economic status. A considerable percentage of the respondents (71%) preferred to rely on an expert opinion from their seniors or professors for prescribing the correct antibiotics while 30% of the respondents were found to prescribe them empirically. The survey further explored the dental practitioners’ knowledge on calculating the dose of the selected antibiotic based on a patient’s height and weight where only 19% of the respondents were found to present with some factual knowledge. The questionnaire also reviewed the dental practitioners’ awareness regarding antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines; 72% responded positively, 42% admitted to not using the guidelines in their routine clinical practice while 84% of the respondents confirmed unawareness towards the use of any guidelines.
Conclusion: There seems to be a clear defect in the education and awareness of dentists concerning antibiotic guidelines influencing their attitudes and this study highlights the importance of gauging the severity of this problem.
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