Patient Knowledge and Antibiotic Abuse: Evidence from an Audit Study in China
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.
We thank Qingqing Cao, Naijia Guo, Yu Qin, Yu Wang, Hao Zhang for their research assistance. We are grateful to conference participants at Academy Health. All errors are ours. Lin acknowledges research grants support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 70903003 and No. 71073002). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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. citation courtesy of