The Risk Barometer determines at regular intervals how the Austrian population perceives the risk of various factors influencing its own health. In addition, it is determined how well the Austrian population is informed about potential risks. This year, the focus of the risk barometer is on the risk perception on the topic of antibiotic resistance.
The greatest concern in 2023 is on the topics of social inequality, environmental pollution and climate change. Concerns about energy supply, nutritional quality/supply, and food safety increased in recent years. Concern about epidemics and animal diseases peaked in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic, but has since declined.
Health risk perceptions are highest for effects of chemicals and pollutants on human health, allergens in the environment and in food, and antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. When hospitalized, the top concern is infection with an antibiotic-resistant germ.
The main concern when taking antibiotics is the development of resistant bacteria. Thus, when it comes to antibiotic resistance, the majority of respondents also worry about infection with antibiotic-resistant germs in the hospital. The (excessive) use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine as well as the intake of antibiotics or antibiotic-resistant germs through animal food are also a cause for concern. The majority sees the correct intake of antibiotics according to medical instructions as a suitable means of reducing the spread of antibiotic resistance.
More than half of the respondents feel inadequately informed about the effects of chemicals and pollutants on human health, allergenic substances in the environment and in food, and antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. The greatest need for information is on topics related to antibiotic resistance, with the majority of respondents stating that they are not sufficiently informed.
The main source of information on the subject of antibiotic resistance is doctors, followed by pharmacists, with information from the Internet in third place.