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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Patient views on herbal medicines and antibiotics for acute brochitis

Dr Dia Soilemezi, a Qualitative Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine based at Aldermoore Health Centre, Southampton, presented this research at the Global-NAMRIP Festival of Early Career Research on 25 June 2019. The poster can be downloaded via the 'Useful Downloads' link below.

Pelargonium plant
Pelargonium plant

Herbal remedies are possible alternatives to antibiotics for treating symptoms of acute infections, such as acute bronchitis. However little is known about the views of patients in the UK about this.

The team conducted 29 telephone semi-structured interviews with patients who had been invited to participate in the HATRIC trial (a feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial of Pelargonium sidoides root extract for the treatment of acute cough due to bronchitis). We asked their views on the use of herbal medicine and antibiotics. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using framework analysis.

Dia Soilemezi Poster


Most patients trusted their GP’s advice, regarding both delayed antibiotics and use of herbal medicine. Although a few believed that antibiotics are more effective, and several were unsure or sceptical about the effectiveness of herbal medicines, most were willing to try them in order to avoid misuse of antibiotics. Several actually preferred herbal medicines, feeling that they are less “damaging” than antibiotics.

The team found that most patients were happy to consider the use of herbal medicines as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of acute bronchitis. More research is needed to build evidence on the effectiveness of herbal medicines.

The authors of this research are Dia Soilemezi, Merlin Wilcox, Geraldine Leydon, Ruiyang Yan, Michael Moore from the Faculty of Medicine - School of Primary Care (based at Aldermoor Health Centre).

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