Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding antibiotics use among Cypriot university students: a multi-disciplinary survey

Buket Baddal, Timo Juhani Lajunen, Mark J.M. Sullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The present study aims to investigate the knowledge and attitudes towards antibiotics among students studying medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy at the Near East University in Northern Cyprus. The influence of personality characteristics on antibiotic use were also evaluated, in order to identify predictors of antibiotic misuse. Methods: Students were enrolled in the study during the 2020–2021 academic year. Study participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire that measured their knowledge, attitudes and practice (KAP) towards antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance. The KAP of students from the three faculties were compared using Kruskall-Wallis H statistics, Mann-Whitney U statistics, and Spearman’s rho. The influence of personality traits on the propensity to use antibiotics without a prescription, as well as their attitudes and knowledge of antibiotic use and misuse, were also investigated. Results: In total, 314 students completed the survey, 52% of which were female. The mean age of the students was 20.5 years. The results showed that among the different disciplines, medical students were significantly more knowledgeable about pharmacological agents, compared to dentistry and pharmacy students, while pharmacy students were more knowledgeable about the effectiveness of antibiotics against different pathogenic microorganisms. All student groups were aware of how antibiotic resistance develops and their role as healthcare personnel in implementing measures against resistance. Appropriate antibiotic use among the student community correlated with study year, highlighting the importance of knowledge and education in the prevention of antibiotic resistance. Personality traits were found to be a contributing factor in students’ tendency to use antibiotics without a prescription. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the importance of conveying knowledge about antimicrobials in the education programmes of future dentists, pharmacists and physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number847
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Antibiotics
  • Attitudes
  • Knowledge
  • Northern Cyprus
  • Personality
  • Students
  • Survey


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