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

  • Janet Currie
  • Wanchuan Lin
  • Wei Zhang

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16602.pdf
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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
Note: HC HE PE
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