Introduction and objective:
The study investigates patterns of antibiotic use among patients in the Lublin area of eastern Poland, aiming to understand the motivations behind self- -medication. Specifically, the study focuses on identifying repeatable patterns of antibiotic use and assessing differences in self-medication behaviours based on these patterns.

Material and methods:
A survey was conducted at a Family Doctor›s clinic in Lublin, involving primary care patients. Participants completed an anonymous questionnaire consisting of three sections: demographics and general health assessment, pharyngitis occurrence and management, and beliefs about antibiotic use, pain sensitivity, and urgency.

Three distinct subgroups emerged from the analysis: Pattern A (62%) – rarely suffered from acute pharyngitis and rarely used antibiotics without medical consultation or shortened the period of antibiotic treatment; Pattern B (29%) – often suffered from acute pharyngitis and rarely used antibiotics without medical consultation, or shortened the period of antibiotic treatment; Pattern C (9%) – Frequently self-medicated with antibiotics, often without medical consultation. These patterns correlated with subjective health assessment, pain sensitivity, urgency, and beliefs about antibiotics.

The study highlights diverse attitudes towards acute pharyngitis symptoms and antibiotic use. Physician alertness should focus on patients with high urgency levels, severe pain, recurrent infections, prior antibiotic self-medication, and a propensity to shorten antibiotic therapy. Understanding these patterns is crucial for tailored interventions promoting rational antibiotic use. Further research should explore similar behaviour patterns in other infectious diseases to guide clinical decision-making and mitigate antibiotic resistance.

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