Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Public and environmental health

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Science in Food Safety Management to the Technological University Dublin, 2020


The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of Irish consumers regarding antibiotic use in Ireland. Data was obtained on antibiotic use, frequency, associated source and general awareness regarding antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. A cross-sectional survey was designed to analyse consumer’s perception and knowledge of antibiotic and antibiotic resistance. A total of 763 completed questionnaires were collected. The questionnaire was targeted for general public, based in Ireland. Fifty-seven percent of respondents are trying to completely avoid antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary. Half of respondents (50%) took antibiotics in the last 12 months. The majority of respondents obtained antibiotics through a valid medical prescription. A prevalence of 6% of self-medication with antibiotic mainly leftovers from previous course was reported. Almost 80% of the respondents discontinue the antibiotic treatment when all antibiotics have been taken as directed. Gaps in population understanding of antibiotics were observed. Only 47% of the respondents knew that antibiotics were not effective against viruses. Eighty-two percent of respondents understood that unnecessary use of antibiotics make them ineffective. Almost sixteen percent had never heard of the term Antibiotic Resistance. Almost all the respondents stated that the availability of public awareness campaigns is poor. The majority of respondents (70%), noted that they would trust social media to inform them about antibiotic resistance. It is important to note that there are some notable socio-demographic differences in relation to the frequency of antibiotic intake. Furthermore, this study suggests that an increase in educational degrees is correlated with the level of awareness. Although the study shows a certain level of understanding of the antimicrobial resistance problem, there still is a lack of knowledge, mostly reported by consumers with a lower level of education.


Included in

Food Science Commons