Bringing antibiotics from overseas and self-medication amongst Australian Chinese migrants

Hu, Jie and Wang, Zhiqiang (2014) Bringing antibiotics from overseas and self-medication amongst Australian Chinese migrants. The Internet Journal of Infectious Diseases, 14 1: . doi:10.5580/IJID.20324

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Author Hu, Jie
Wang, Zhiqiang
Title Bringing antibiotics from overseas and self-medication amongst Australian Chinese migrants
Journal name The Internet Journal of Infectious Diseases
ISSN 1528-8366
Publication date 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5580/IJID.20324
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 14
Issue 1
Total pages 7
Place of publication Sugar Land, TX, United States
Publisher Internet Scientific Publications
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Antibiotics are freely available for purchase without a prescription in some countries. Migrants travelling from and to their home countries may bring along medicines for future use. This study aimed to investigate the practice of bringing antibiotics from outside Australia amongst Chinese migrants and to assess the association between bringing antibiotics and self-medication with antibiotics in this group.

Methods: Chinese migrants who have been residing in Australia longer than three months were recruited through several Chinese social websites to complete an online bilingual health survey. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to assess the associations between bringing antibiotics into Australia and self-medication with antibiotics.

Results: Out of 469 Chinese migrants, 148 (32%) admitted that they had brought antibiotics into Australia during their latest trip to China or other countries. The practice of bringing antibiotics into Australia was not associated with most of the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics except education level and the main language spoken at home. Over sixty percent of who brought antibiotics believed they could treat the disease with previous experience. More than half of them perceived it may be expensive to consult a doctor in Australia. Furthermore, the practice of bringing in antibiotics from overseas was significantly associated with self-medication of antibiotics among Australian Chinese migrants (adjusted OR: 4.5, 95% CI: 2.6-7.8).

Conclusions: Although antibiotic sales are well regulated in Australia, many Chinese migrants bring in antibiotics from outside Australia which increases the risk of self-medication. Our findings support that antibiotics crossing the border should be better regulated in Australia.
Keyword Antibiotic use
Chinese migrants
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Tue, 24 Feb 2015, 11:00:56 EST by Jie Hu on behalf of Royal Brisbane Clinical School