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Table 2 Themes/subthemes that emerged from interviews in relation to factors contributing to self-medication with antibiotics from participants’ perspectives

From: “Antibiotics kill things very quickly” - consumers’ perspectives on non-prescribed antibiotic use in Saudi Arabia

Category Themes/subthemes identified within this category
Factors contributing to self-medication with antibiotics from participants’ perspectives Participants’ cultural beliefs and practices regarding antibiotics • Cultural perception regarding the curative power of antibiotics • Storing antibiotics at home for later use and sharing them with family members • Previous experience with antibiotics and similar symptoms
Lack of knowledge/awareness about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance
Problems attributed to access to, and organisation of, services • Difficulty getting appointments and long waiting time during visits • Perception about practitioners and less shared decision making • Transportation issues • Weak regulatory enforcement mechanism that prevents the selling of antibiotics without prescriptions • Cost of care • Stigma of getting an infection upon going to the hospital for a consultation