Open Access Open Badges Research article

Development and assessment of a questionnaire for a descriptive cross – sectional study concerning parents' knowledge, attitudes and practises in antibiotic use in Greece

Sotiria G Panagakou1, Maria N Theodoridou2, Vassiliki Papaevangelou3, Panagiotis Papastergiou1, George A Syrogiannopoulos4, Georgia P Goutziana1 and Christos S Hadjichristodoulou1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Thessaly, Greece

2 First Department of Paediatrics, Agia Sofia Children's Hospital, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

3 Athens School of Public Health, Department epidemiology Medical Statistics, Athens, Greece

4 Department of Pediatrics, University of Thessaly, Faculty of Medicine, General University Hospital, Larisa, Greece

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2009, 9:52  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-52

Published: 4 May 2009



Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs) are common in children. The cause is usually viral, but parents' attitude often contributes to inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, promoting antibiotic resistance. The objective is to describe the process of developing a questionnaire to assess parents' Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) concerning the role of antibiotics when children suffer from URIs, as well as to evaluate the response rates, the completeness and the reliability (Cronbach) of the questionnaires. Finally, to note any limitations of the study.


Literature review, along with pre – testing yielded a questionnaire designed to assess the parents' KAP – level. A postal survey was set, in a national sample of 200 schools stratified by geographical region. The participants consist of a multistage geographical cluster sample of 8000 parents. The influence of demographic characteristics (i.e. sex, age, education) was analyzed. Cronbach index test and factor analysis were used to assess the reliability of the questionnaire.


The response rate of the parents was 69%. Islands presented the lowest response rate while in Northern Greece the response rate was the highest. Sixty – eight point nine percent of the sample returned questionnaires fully completed, while 91.5% completed 95% of the questions. Three questions out of 70 were answered in a very low rate which was associated mostly with immigrant respondents. The section describing parents' attitude toward antibiotic use was not completed as much as the sections of knowledge or practices. The questions were factor analyzed and 10 out of the 21 extracted factors were finally evaluated, reducing the number of independent variables to 46. The reliability of the questionnaire was 0.55. However, only items that increased the Cronbach when added were eventually included in the final scales raising the internal consistency to 0.68. Limitations of the study, such as the vocabulary and form of the questionnaire and the idiocycrancy of the respondents, emerged during the analysis.


The response rate and the completeness of the questionnaires were higher than expected, probably attributed to the involvement of the teachers. The study findings were satisfactory regarding the development of a reliable instrument capable to measure parents' KAP characteristics.