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Patient Knowledge and Antibiotic Abuse: Evidence from an Audit Study in China

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  • Janet Currie
  • Wanchuan Lin
  • Wei Zhang

Abstract

We ask how patient knowledge of appropriate antibiotic usage affects both physicians prescribing behavior and the physician-patient relationship. We conduct an audit study in which a pair of simulated patients with identical flu-like complaints visits the same physician. Simulated patient A is instructed to ask a question that showcases his/her knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use, whereas patient B is instructed to say nothing beyond describing his/her symptoms. We find that a patient’s knowledge of appropriate antibiotics use reduces both antibiotic prescription rates and drug expenditures. Such knowledge also increases physicians’ information provision about possible side effects, but has a negative impact on the quality of the physician-patient interactions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16602.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: published as Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Zhang, Wei, 2011. "Patient knowledge and antibiotic abuse: Evidence from an audit study in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 933-949.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16602

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Cited by:
  1. Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2013. "Still Not Allowed on the Bus: It Matters If You're Black or White!," IZA Discussion Papers 7300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2013. "Social networks and externalities from gift exchange: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 19-30.
  3. Bingxiao Wu, 2014. "Mismeasurement in Pay-for-Performance: Evidence from an Intervention to Reduce Health Care Spending in China," Departmental Working Papers 201409, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Lu, Fangwen, 2014. "Insurance coverage and agency problems in doctor prescriptions: Evidence from a field experiment in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 156-167.

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