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Special Issue "Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. T. Wing Lo

Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Website | E-Mail
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Cherry TAM Hau-lin

Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: youth delinquency in particular about their addictive behaviors including youth drug abuse, compulsive sexual behaviors, and internet addiction
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Jerf W.K. Yeung

Department of Applied Social sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: family and children; religion and health; youth development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Substance abuse has been a serious public health and social problem since the last century. Every year, there are reports of substance-related deaths and inflected cases with life-threatening diseases, such as HIV, and hepatitis B and C. In 2008, the World Substance Report published by the United Nations Office on Substances and Crime warned that the threat of psychotropic substances had been rising significantly in countries around the world. In particular, the problem of youth substance abuse was highly related to the increase of psychotropic substance abuse. Because of its chronic and relapse nature and high social and health cost, public concerns on the substance abuse problem are high in the global context. Unfortunately, according to the World Substance Report 2014, service provision in tackling the problem is still far behind actual demand.

Because substance abuse results in significant social costs in terms of crime, unemployment, health care, mental issues, and family problems, countries around the world have introduced numerous treatment approaches and rehabilitation services, such as residential care and intensive inpatient services, community-based outpatient and day treatments, behavioural therapy, family therapy and outreach programmes to address the needs of substance abusers. However, regardless of the types of programme employed, relapse is still highly prevalent among substance abusers even after the completion of treatment programmes. Accordingly, further research is required to investigate the etiology of substance abuse and evidence-based treatment programmes specifically targeted at substance abusers.

Against this backdrop, this Special Issue aims to reduce the social, health and economic cost of substance addiction in countries around the world. It welcomes submissions that investigate the etiology of substance abuse, including personal, social and environmental causations. It also welcomes submissions that examine and analyze substance prevention, treatment and rehabilitation models that help develop more effective substance treatment strategies and better service delivery mechanisms. We welcome contributions from the fields of public health, medicine, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, social work, law, and substance rehabilitation.

Prof. T. Wing Lo

Guest Editor
Dr. Jerf W.K. Yeung
Dr. Cherry TAM Hau-lin
Co-Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • substance abuse
  • substance treatment
  • substance rehabilitation
  • public health
  • environment

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Misconception of Antibiotic Equal to an Anti-Inflammatory Drug Promoting Antibiotic Misuse among Chinese University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030335
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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Abstract
Massive misuse of antibiotics is one of the most important reasons for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Misconceptions of antibiotics contribute to antibiotic misuse behaviors. This study aims to examine whether university students hold the misconception that Antibiotic is a Xiaoyanyao (literally means anti-inflammatory drug [...] Read more.
Massive misuse of antibiotics is one of the most important reasons for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Misconceptions of antibiotics contribute to antibiotic misuse behaviors. This study aims to examine whether university students hold the misconception that Antibiotic is a Xiaoyanyao (literally means anti-inflammatory drug in Chinese), and association between this misconception and antibiotic misuse behaviors. A cross-sectional study was conducted among university students using the cluster random sampling method in six universities of six regions in China (one university per region). The Chi-square test was used to assess the relationship between the misconception and antibiotic misuse behaviors. Logistic regression was conducted to identify the risk factors for antibiotic misuse behaviors. 11,192 of university students completed the entire questionnaire. There were 3882 (34.7%) students who were considered to have the misconception. Female students were more likely to have the misconception compared with males (36.7% vs. 32.6%, P < 0.001). Those students with a background of social science/humanities were more likely to have the misconception compared with those from science and medicine (44.1% vs. 30.3% vs. 20.1%, P < 0.001). Students came from rural areas compared with those from urban areas (37.5% vs. 32.5%, P < 0.001) were more likely to have the misconception. Students who had the misconception were 1.51 (95% CI 1.21–1.89, P < 0.001) times, 1.34 (95% CI 1.21–1.48, P < 0.001) times, and 1.36 (95% CI 1.24–1.50, P < 0.001) times more likely to report self-medication, request to obtain antibiotics, and take antibiotics prophylactically than those who did not have this misconception, respectively. The high proportion of university students’ misconception on Antibiotic is a Xiaoyanyao is worth more attention. Effective health education and interventions need to be promoted among university students and the whole population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Primary Reason for Drinking Among Current, Former, and Never Flushing College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020211
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 13 January 2019
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Abstract
Alcohol consumption among individuals who experience a flushing response (reddening of the face, nausea, dizziness, headache, anxiety, and increased heartbeat) can result in serious health problems. However, studies on reasons for drinking among flushers, especially in the college context, are limited. Thus, this [...] Read more.
Alcohol consumption among individuals who experience a flushing response (reddening of the face, nausea, dizziness, headache, anxiety, and increased heartbeat) can result in serious health problems. However, studies on reasons for drinking among flushers, especially in the college context, are limited. Thus, this study investigated the association between primary reason for drinking and alcohol use among a nationally representative sample of current, former, and never flushing college students. The aim was to measure whether college students with current or former experience of facial flushing have different primary reasons for drinking compared to students with no experience of facial flushing. We surveyed and analyzed the data of 4590 students in a nationally representative sample of 82 colleges in South Korea. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify the association between primary reason for drinking and alcohol intake. Alcohol intake was measured using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Among 1537 current (33.5%), 152 former (3.3%), and 2901 (63.2%) never flushers, mean AUDIT scores were 7.715 ± 5.434, 11.039 ± 6.405, and 10.465 ± 5.779, respectively. Current flushers had significantly higher AUDIT scores when drinking for pleasure (β = 2.696, p < 0.0001) or stress/depression (β = 2.578, p < 0.0001). Primary reasons for drinking were not associated with alcohol intake for former flushers. Never flushers had significantly higher AUDIT scores when drinking for pleasure (β = 2.696, p < 0.0001), stress/depression (β = 2.578, p < 0.0001), or boredom (β = 0.740, p = 0.029) than peer pressure. Our results suggest that former and never flushers consume higher amounts of alcohol on average than never flushers. For current flushers, drinking for pleasure or stress/depression may increase alcohol intake, while for never flushers, drinking for pleasure, stress/depression, as well as boredom may have the same effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Inmates with Harmful Substance Use Increase Both Exercise and Nicotine Use Under Incarceration
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122663
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
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Abstract
Exercise is increasingly understood as an important resource for people who engage in harmful substance use, including those in prison. Little is known about how inmates adopt various health behaviors during incarceration, without interventions. This cross-sectional study analyzed self-reports from 1464 inmates in [...] Read more.
Exercise is increasingly understood as an important resource for people who engage in harmful substance use, including those in prison. Little is known about how inmates adopt various health behaviors during incarceration, without interventions. This cross-sectional study analyzed self-reports from 1464 inmates in Norwegian prisons in 2013–2014, compared them according to harmful substance use pre-incarceration, and explored changes in exercise and nicotine use during incarceration. Results were presented in accordance with the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. Inmates with harmful substance use reported higher rates of smoking, smokeless tobacco, and physical inactivity pre-incarceration than inmates without harmful use. However, inmates with harmful use also exhibited more behavioral changes: they adopted exercise, ceased smoking, and adopted smokeless tobacco at higher rates during incarceration than the non-harmful group, to the extent that inmates with harmful use exercised during incarceration more. Exercise is being taken up by a significant proportion of inmates, and may in particular be a replacement behavior for substance use. However, unhealthy behaviors also begin or are maintained. If prisons were used as an arena to facilitate healthy behaviors, the public health benefits to a marginalized group such as substance-using inmates could be substantial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Associations Between the Dopamine D4 Receptor and DAT1 Dopamine Transporter Genes Polymorphisms and Personality Traits in Addicted Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102076
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract
Many factors are involved in addiction. The dopaminergic system is thought to be the key element in this process. The mesolimbic dopamine system is a crucial element in the reward system. Changes in this system are thought to be leading to substance use [...] Read more.
Many factors are involved in addiction. The dopaminergic system is thought to be the key element in this process. The mesolimbic dopamine system is a crucial element in the reward system. Changes in this system are thought to be leading to substance use disorders and dependence. Therefore, for our study we chose an analysis of two polymorphisms in genes (Variable Number of Tandem Repeats in DRD4 and DAT1) responsible for dopaminergic transmission, which might be implicated in the scores of personality traits measured by the NEO-FFI test. The study group consisted of 600 male volunteers—299 addicted subjects and 301 controls. Both groups were recruited by psychiatrists; in the case group addiction was diagnosed; in the controls a mental illness was excluded. In both groups the same psychometric test and genotyping by the PCR VNTR method were performed. The results were investigated by a multivariate analysis of the main effects ANOVA. In the presented study no DRD4 main effects were found for any of the analyzed traits but the DRD4 main effects approximated to the statistical significance for the extraversion scale. However, no DAT1 main effects were found for any of the analyzed traits but the DAT1 main effects approximated to the statistical significance for the agreeability scale.These associations open new possibilities for addiction research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Emergency and Mental Health Nurses’ Perceptions and Attitudes towards Alcoholics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081733
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
Knowing professionals’ attitudes is the basis for the development of skills for dealing with drug dependence. These attitudes may affect patients’ clinical safety and the cost-benefit ratio of the interventions. The goal of this study was to assess emergency and mental health nurses’ [...] Read more.
Knowing professionals’ attitudes is the basis for the development of skills for dealing with drug dependence. These attitudes may affect patients’ clinical safety and the cost-benefit ratio of the interventions. The goal of this study was to assess emergency and mental health nurses’ attitudes and perceptions towards alcoholics. A multicenter prospective descriptive study was conducted in six hospitals with 167 emergency and mental health nurses. Nurses classified alcoholics as sick individuals, although there was a tendency to feel uncomfortable working with them. Results indicated that these professionals had a rejecting attitude towards moderate alcohol consumption. It found that there was a significant association between the attitude of the nurse and gender, with the degree of rejection towards the alcoholic being higher in men than in women, and with less punitive attitudes in professionals with 0 to 11 years of professional experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Identification of Factors Associated with Potential Doping Behavior in Sports: A Cross-Sectional Analysis in High-Level Competitive Swimmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081720
Received: 3 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (831 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: Doping behavior, including the misuse of performance-enhancing drugs, is currently a serious problem in sports, and the efficacy of preventive efforts directly depends on information regarding the associations among different precipitating factors (PF) and doping behavior. This study aimed to establish [...] Read more.
Background: Doping behavior, including the misuse of performance-enhancing drugs, is currently a serious problem in sports, and the efficacy of preventive efforts directly depends on information regarding the associations among different precipitating factors (PF) and doping behavior. This study aimed to establish the PF of potential doping behavior (PDB) in competitive swimmers. Methods: The study included 301 swimmers from Slovenia (153 females, 16.4 ± 2.4 years), tested during the 2017 National Championship. Variables were collected by previously validated questionnaires, which included questions on sociodemographics, sports-related factors, consumption of dietary supplements, knowledge of doping, factors of hesitation, and doping-related factors (i.e., number of doping tests, opinion about the presence of doping in sport). The PDB (positive, neutral, or negative intention toward doping) was observed as a criterion, while other variables were included as predictors in multinomial regression analyses (with “negative” as reference value), which additionally controlled for gender and age category (cadet-, junior-, and senior-level) as confounders. Results: The results confirmed higher susceptibility to doping in males (positive: odds ratio (OR): 2.77, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.27–6.04), those swimmers who reported higher alcohol consumption (neutral: OR: 2.18, 95%CI: 1.06–4.16, positive: OR: 2.14, 95%CI: 1.05–4.37), and those regularly used dietary supplements (positive: OR: 3.62, 95%CI: 1.25–10.52). Competitive achievement in Olympic- (neutral: OR: 0.57, 95%CI: 0.41–0.81, positive: OR: 0.59, 95%CI: 0.39–0.88), and non-Olympic disciplines (positive: OR: 0.54, 95%CI: 0.35–0.83) was protective against PDB. Swimmers who were more concerned about the negative social consequences of doping behavior (i.e., condemnation by family and friends) were less likely to declare a positive intention toward the PDB (family condemnation: OR: 0.69, 95%CI: 0.56–0.86, friends’ condemnation: OR: 0.65, 95%CI: 0.52–0.80). Conclusions: The results of the study provide more precise insight into the specific factors associated with PDB in swimming. The established precipitating factors should be incorporated into targeted anti-doping campaigns in this sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle A Prospective Study on the Influence of Scholastic Factors on the Prevalence and Initiation of Illicit Drug Misuse in Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050874
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (974 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to prospectively investigate the scholastic factors related to illicit drug misuse (IDM) and the initiation of IDM among older adolescents from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Methods: This 2-year prospective study included 436 participants (202 females), who were an average of [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to prospectively investigate the scholastic factors related to illicit drug misuse (IDM) and the initiation of IDM among older adolescents from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Methods: This 2-year prospective study included 436 participants (202 females), who were an average of 16 years old at the beginning of the study (baseline). The participants were tested at baseline and follow-up (20 months later). The predictors included variables of scholastic-achievement (grade point average, school absences, unexcused absences and behavioral grade). The criteria were: (i) IDM at baseline; (ii) IDM at follow-up; and (iii) initiation of IDM over the study course. Results: Logistic regression indicated increased odds of IDM in adolescents who were more frequent absent from school (baseline: Odds Ratio (OR): 3.73, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 2.12–6.57; follow-up: OR: 2.91, 95% CI: 1.90–4.65). The lower grade point average and more unexcused absences were evidenced for adolescents who consumed drugs on follow-up (OR: 1.67, 95% CI: 1.11–2.51; OR: 1.74, 95% CI: 1.30–2.32 for grade point average and unexcused absences, respectively). Initiation of IDM was predicted by frequent absences from school (OR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.3–3.8), and lower behavioral grades (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.2–3.3). Conclusions: The findings confirmed strong correlations between scholastic failure and IDM. Absences from school and lower behavioral grades at baseline were predictive of the initiation of IDM in older adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Keeping Antibiotics at Home Promotes Self-Medication with Antibiotics among Chinese University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040687
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: Inappropriate use of antibiotics has caused antimicrobial resistance, presenting a major health challenge to the world population. Self-medication with antibiotics (SMA) is currently at an alarming level in China. Objectives: To determine the sources of antibiotics leftover at home, the risk factors [...] Read more.
Background: Inappropriate use of antibiotics has caused antimicrobial resistance, presenting a major health challenge to the world population. Self-medication with antibiotics (SMA) is currently at an alarming level in China. Objectives: To determine the sources of antibiotics leftover at home, the risk factors of keeping antibiotics at home, and the associations between keeping antibiotics at home and SMA among Chinese university students. Methods: Six provinces were purposely selected from six regions of China, and one multi-disciplinary university was selected from each chosen province. A total of 11,192 university students were selected using cluster random sampling from the selected universities. Logistic regression was conducted to examine the relationship between keeping antibiotics at home and SMA. Results: Out of the 11,192 students surveyed, 7057 (63.1%) reported keeping antibiotics at home at the time they were surveyed. Of those who kept antibiotics in their home, 1965 (27.8%) reported that these antibiotics were left over from a previous prescription by a doctor and 4893 (69.3%), purchased antibiotics over the counter. Additionally, 29.6% (507/1711) of students self-medicated with antibiotics when ill during the month before the survey. Students keeping antibiotics at home were five times (95% CI 3.53, 7.05) more likely to engage in SMA when ill and 2.6 times (95% CI 2.34, 2.89) more likely to self-medicating with antibiotics for prophylaxis than the other students. Female students, those with a family background of higher education, and those who had a parent working in the medical field had a significantly higher chance of keeping antibiotics at home. Conclusions: The high prevalence of keeping antibiotics at home and SMA among young adults is a serious concern. Professional regulations and population-tailored health education are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Preventing Opioid Use Disorders among Fishing Industry Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040648
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 31 March 2018
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Abstract
Fishing industry workers are at high risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and injuries. Prescription opioids used to treat pain injuries may put these workers at increased risk for developing substance disorders. Using a Community-Based Participatory Research approach, formative research was conducted to [...] Read more.
Fishing industry workers are at high risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and injuries. Prescription opioids used to treat pain injuries may put these workers at increased risk for developing substance disorders. Using a Community-Based Participatory Research approach, formative research was conducted to inform the eventual development of relevant interventions to prevent and reduce opioid use disorders among fishing industry workers. Qualitative interviews (n = 21) were conducted to assess: knowledge and attitudes about opioid use disorders; features of fishing work that might affect use and/or access to treatment; and community and organizational capacity for prevention and treatment. Participants reported numerous pathways connecting commercial fishing with opioid use. The combination of high stress and physically tasking job duties requires comprehensive workplace interventions to prevent chronic pain and MSDs, in addition to tailored and culturally responsive treatment options to address opioid use disorders in this population. Public health programs must integrate workplace health and safety protection along with evidence-based primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions in order to address opioid use disorders, particularly among workers in strenuous jobs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
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Open AccessProtocol A School-Based Educational Intervention for School-Aged Children and Caregivers about Rational Use of Antibiotics in Urban Areas of Shaanxi Province: A Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1912; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091912
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: Antibiotic resistance is an imperative public health issue globally. Major factors that are resulting in this trend are the irrational and excessive use of antibiotics. Children account for a greater population of antibiotics use, therefore, an educational intervention on the rational [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Antibiotic resistance is an imperative public health issue globally. Major factors that are resulting in this trend are the irrational and excessive use of antibiotics. Children account for a greater population of antibiotics use, therefore, an educational intervention on the rational use of antibiotics for children and caregivers will be beneficial. (2) Methods: A randomized controlled and parallel group study of fifth grade children and their caregivers will be evaluated in four primary schools in Baoji and Weinan of the Shaanxi Province. Two primary schools will be randomly selected for the educational intervention and two schools will serve as a control group. In the intervention arm, educational interventions will be conducted among caregivers and their children. The intervention measures include interactive training sessions, booklets, and printed or electronic educational materials that will be given to the caregivers or the school-aged children. In the control arm, no interventions will be implemented. Baseline data collected from June, 2018 and the intervention will last for three months. Knowledge-Attitude-Practice (KAP) questionnaires will be used to evaluate the caregivers’ knowledge, their attitude, and their practice. Knowledge-Retention questionnaires will be used to assess the children’s knowledge about microbes, antibiotics, and hygiene. (3) Discussion: This study is a unique comprehensive intervention targeting both children and their caregivers. We hypothesize a decrease in the irrational use of antibiotics among the studied population. Hence, this result would provide evidence for policy makers and educational departments for the implementation of similar interventions on the rational use of antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
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