Parental misconceptions about antibiotics linked to poor health literacy levels in Latino population

In the first study of its kind, researchers at the Columbia University School of Nursing have established that poor health literacy among Latino parents is associated with a poor understanding of the proper use antibiotics, particularly for upper respiratory infections (URIs), which can lead to an increase in antimicrobial resistance.

The study was published in the Journal of Urban Health of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Conducted in the predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods of upper Manhattan where "bodegas" offer easy access to unregulated antibiotics, the study found one in three participants had poor when measured by reading comprehension, and even lower scores when measured by numerical proficiency. In addition, those with inadequate health literacy levels held incorrect beliefs about the use of antibiotics. Latinos are more likely to take antibiotics without a prescription, previous research has shown, since many have emigrated from countries where it is common to buy antibiotics over the counter without prescription. URIs are caused by viral infections and are not responsive to antibiotics which are used to treat bacteria-borne illness.

Health literacy requires the skills to gain access to, understand, and use information in ways that promote and maintain health. Evidence suggests that with limited English proficiency are more likely to have inadequate health literacy. Additionally, Latino parents have been shown to be significantly more likely to expect antibiotic treatment for a child in comparison to non-Hispanic white parents.

"Injudicious use of antibiotics, including antimicrobial treatment of viral URI in pediatric settings, has contributed to the of antimicrobial resistance," write the study's lead author, Ann-Margaret Dunn-Navarra, Columbia University School of Nursing. "Enhanced parent education on appropriate antibiotic treatment is critical if the in children of minority families are going to be corrected."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Resuscitating' antibiotics to overcome drug resistance

Mar 28, 2012

Combining common antibiotics with additional compounds could make previously resistant bacteria more susceptible to the same antibiotics. 'Resuscitation' of existing antibiotics has the potential to make infections caused ...

Recommended for you

Determine patient preferences by means of conjoint analysis

Jul 29, 2014

The Conjoint Analysis (CA) method is in principle suitable to find out which preferences patients have regarding treatment goals. However, to widely use it in health economic evaluations, some (primarily methodological) issues ...

FDA approves hard-to-abuse narcotic painkiller

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new formulation of a powerful narcotic painkiller that discourages potential abusers from snorting or injecting the drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Race affects opioid selection for cancer pain

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Racial disparities exist in the type of opioid prescribed for cancer pain, according to a study published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

FDA approves tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe ...

User comments