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Patient knowledge and antibiotic abuse: Evidence from an audit study in China

  • Currie, Janet
  • Lin, Wanchuan
  • Zhang, Wei

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 who displays 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. Our results suggest that antibiotics abuse in China is not driven by patients actively demanding antibiotics, but is largely a supply-side phenomenon.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 933-949

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:933-949
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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