Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

Knowledge and beliefs about antibiotics among people in Yogyakarta City Indonesia: a cross sectional population-based survey

Aris Widayati14*, Sri Suryawati2, Charlotte de Crespigny3 and Janet E Hiller45

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Sanata Dharma University Yogyakarta Indonesia, Kampus III, Paingan Maguwoharjo, Depok, Sleman Yogyakarta, Indonesia

2 Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

3 School of Nursing, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

4 School of Population Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

5 Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2012, 1:38  doi:10.1186/2047-2994-1-38

Published: 23 November 2012



Misconceptions about antibiotic use among community members potentially lead to inappropriate use of antibiotics in the community. This population-based study was aimed at examining common knowledge and beliefs about antibiotic use of people in an urban area of Indonesia.


The population of the study was adults (over 18 years old) in Yogyakarta City. A cluster random sampling technique was applied (Nā€‰=ā€‰640). Data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive statistics and correlation.


A total of 625 respondents was approached and 559 respondents completed the questionnaire (90% response rate). Out of 559 respondents, 283 (51%) are familiar with antibiotics. Out of 283 respondents who are familiar with antibiotics, more than half have appropriate knowledge regarding antibiotic resistance (85%), allergic reactions (70%), and their effectiveness for bacterial infections (76%). Half these respondents know that antibiotics ought not to be used immediately for fever (50%). More than half have incorrect knowledge regarding antibiotics for viral infections (71%). More than half believe that antibiotics can prevent illnesses from becoming worse (74%). Fewer than half believe that antibiotics have no side effects (24%), that antibiotics can cure any disease (40%), and that antibiotic powders poured onto the skin can quickly cure injuries (37%). Those who are uncertain with these beliefs ranged from 25% to 40%. Generally, these respondents have moderate knowledge; where the median is 3 with a range of 0 to 5 (out of a potential maximum of 5). Median of scores of beliefs is 13 (4 to 19; potential range: 4 to 20). The results of correlation analysis show that those with appropriate knowledge regarding antibiotics would also quite likely have more appropriate beliefs regarding antibiotics. The correlation is highest for those who are male, young participants, with higher education levels, and have a higher income level.


Misconceptions regarding antibiotic use exist among people in this study. Therefore, improving appropriate knowledge regarding antibiotic use is required.

Knowledge; Beliefs; Antibiotics; Self medication